Sky Deutschland to launch open VOD service

Jörn Krieger | 11-12-2013

Sky Deutschland will open its doors to non-subscribers, with the German pay-TV broadcaster launching an online video library on 12 December 2013 through which movies and series can be watched without a Sky subscription.

Snap, as the service is called, is already being advertised during Sky's on-screen programmes and on the Internet. At launch on 12 December, Sky wants to reveal further details including pricing and content.

According to people familiar with the project, the creation of an online video service for non-subscribers has been a controversial issue at Sky, with some fearing subscription cancellations as Sky would provide competition to itself with the offering. In the end, however, it was decided to follow the strategy of participating in the growing German video-on-demand (VOD) market in which companies like maxdome, LOVEFiLM and Watchever are active.

With Snap, Sky also gets ahead of Netflix in case the US provider launches in Germany. The fact that this possibility has played a clear role in the deliberations is reflected in the working title under which the project became known in October 2013: Skyflix. In the UK, sister company BSkyB has been operating a TV and on-demand service for non-subscribers called Now TV since July 2012.