Sky Italy — On Demand service
An entire video archive of content available to subscribers
Sky, the Italian digital pay television, was founded on July 31st 2003 upon a very simple idea: to offer to Italian viewers the best national and international television programmes using the most innovative technology.
By December 31st 2012 the number of subscribers had reached 4,830,000. The television audience was estimated to be more 15 million viewers, and according to Auditel figures, the average platform share had exceeded 9%, a figure four times greater than the one registered during the first months of transmission.
Since its foundation, Sky has begun a solid policy of investment and has involved many Italian partners in the realisation of the editorial project.
The digital platform effectively takes advantage of the professionalism of numerous themed channel editors, but also of the production companies involved in the making of programmes and new formats for films, sports and news channels.
Thanks to this productive effort, the platform broadcasts every year over 39,000 hours of self-produced television programmes, without considering repeats and the channels’ self-promotions. The digital platform consists of 190 themed and pay-per-view channels, that offer extraordinary high-quality choice, with a show schedule worked out for the whole family, and with more than 80 themed audio and digital radio channels.
Since the platform’s launch, the package that Sky proposes to its subscribers has constantly grown, expanding to over 90 new channels. Sky is the first Italian television channel to have broadcast in HD and live in 3D, and it offers a package of 57 channels in high definition and a channel entirely dedicated to programmes in 3D. Sky Italia belongs 100% to News Corporation.
Sky Italia needs
The personalisation of the show schedule to be able to enjoy contents at any moment, in any place and on any device represents a new model for a media company.
Sky Italia, investing in technological innovation and quality contents, initially responded to such demand with the Sky Go service – which allowed customers to enjoy Sky contents on the go with tablets, iPhones and PCs – and then created a service that would allow its subscribers to enjoy contents without time or schedule constraints.
That is how the idea of the Sky On Demand service was created: giving subscribers access to an archive of films, television series, documentaries, children’s programmes, and sports and entertainment programmes.
In order to create such a service, Sky Italia chose a partner with great experience in content management solutions and knowledge of Sky’s specific background.
FINCONS GROUP's solution
Thanks to the strengthened collaborative relationship and a wealth of experience on similar projects, Sky Italia chose FINCONS GROUP as the partner for the launch of the new service, entrusting the Group with the implementation of the Content Management System (CMS), at the heart of the Sky On Demand service’s editorial process.
The FINCONS GROUP team collaborated with Sky Italia during every principal phase of the implementation project of the new On Demand service, from the analysis and end-to-end solution design phase, to the implementation of the Content Management System and its integration with the legacy systems, all the way to the go live of the new service.
The solution implemented by the FINCONS GROUP team – based on the Kit Cosmos platform by Polymedia Kit Digital – is able to manage the preparation of content offered to the client through:
- enrichment of content with images, trailers, metadata (title, duration, genre, etc.) and multimedia content;
- management of navigation amongst available contents (navigation tree, management of the new arrivals and highlights section);
- orchestration and monitoring the workflow of materials’ preparation (physical assets) relative to content, in particular through processes of transcoding, encryption and publication to the Content Delivery Network (CDN);
- publication of the contents catalogue to the delivery platform through the integration with the headend made available by NDS.
The editorial team at Sky Italia has also been able to maximise the control and, therefore, the quality of both the presentation of the service to the customer and the workflow preparation of video files through the integration of the Content Management System with the legacy systems, in particular with the scheduling and package management system, with the Smart Card management system and with the ingestion and media preparation systems.
The On Demand Sky service has added value and innovation to the offer for its subscribers: the user has the possibility of enjoying content at any moment, accessing a personal video archive with over 1,200 titles, through their own set-top box connected to the internet.
In this way, television consumption adapts to the rhythms of the user, who can choose what to see and when to see it, without time or schedule constraints.
Andrea Zappia, Managing Director, Sky Italia
"Sky On Demand is the final phase of a innovation cycle that we brought to Italy. With this new product pay television will change radically in Italy. Thanks to the innovation, the customer can watch what he wants with total freedom."