The concept of paying for a TV service and then also having to sit through adverts, is something Sky customers are already quite familiar with. Starting this week, however, some of them will finally be able to skip some of the adverts.
There’s a catch, however. Two, actually: it’s only on the Sky Go service (Sky’s semi-streaming service that lets subscribers watch live and on-demand content on their phones and computers), and only on some of the content.
This new feature was announced this week, along with several new Sky Q and Sky Go additions, for new and existing Sky subscribers.
Sky’s TV customers get adverts both on live channels and on-demand content, as pre-roll and mid-show breaks.
This year, Sky also added adverts to its streaming service, NOW (formerly NOW TV), though you can pay £5/month for NOW Boost, which removes those adverts.
The idea of paying for a TV service and still having to see adverts is not unique to Sky, and even some streaming services in the US (such as Hulu and Peacock) offer cheaper tiers that include ad breaks.
Most, however, offer an option to remove those adverts by paying more – something that doesn’t exist on Sky (where you’re already paying more than most streaming services, unless you become a cord cutter.).
Sky Go is a service from Sky that’s similar to NOW – but is only available to “traditional” Sky TV subscribers.
It lets Sky customers (you can’t subscribe just to Sky Go – as that’s essentially NOW) watch live and on-demand content that’s included in their subscription, via the internet – but only on a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Starting this month, Sky Go users will be able to skip adverts – and jump straight to the content.
Sky is telling us that users will be able to skip both the pre-roll adverts (before the show starts), and the ones in the middle.
However, Sky says that “Some content is not ad skippable” – so you’ll just have to test this and hope the content you’re going to watch IS ad-skippable.
Additional new features that were added to Sky Go this week, are:
Sky Sports Recap: Lets you catch up on highlights during live Premier League and EFL matches (it’s only on iOS for now, but will come to Android and desktop devices soon).
Content Downloading: Until now, only Sky Go Extra and Sky Q Multiscreen subscribers were able to download programmes and films to their devices to watch later. Now, this feature is being rolled out to all Sky Go users.
Two Simultaneous Screens: Until now, only one person was able to stream Sky Go content on his device, at a given time. Now, you can stream on at least two screens, instead of one, at the same time (Sky Go Extra and Sky Q Multiscreen subscribers get four screens).
New Sky Q Features
Sky also introduced some new Sky Q features this week, with a focus on Sky Q’s voice capabilities.
For starters, you can now switch Sky Q apps by using your voice. So while you’re watching a film on Netflix, you can say “Disney+” to your voice remote, and it’ll run the app – without having to go back to the Sky Q home.
That capability is pretty standard for users of streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV and the Roku Streaming Stick+, but will now be coming to Sky Q as well.
Furthermore, there are now more ways to record TV: Simply say “record” or “record this” into your voice remote while watching live TV, to record the rest of the episode or film you’re watching.
And last but not least, to continue making Sky Q more accessible, there’s now a dedicated page for Audio Descriptive Content.
Available just by using your voice, say “Audio Described TV” to access the hundreds of audio described shows and movies for you to record and watch later.