Every major TV provider is worried about subscriber churn, or the number of people cancelling their package to save money or switch to a rival service. For the longest time, Sky has countered this trend with content, snapping up the rights to "unmissable" sports, movies and TV shows. Now, however, it's launching a loyalty programme too. Sky VIP offers different rewards depending on how long TV and broadband customers have kept their package. New subscribers, for instance, start on silver, unlocking a free Sky Store Buy & Keep movie and access to VIP ticket prize draws.
Gold, which is unlocked after three years, comes with free Sky Go Extra access — so you can download and watch TV shows anywhere — and Sky Atlantic VIP, a new TV channel that will airs HBO, Showtime and Sky Original Productions 24 hours before their regular broadcast on Sky Atlantic. It will be available on channel 995 and include shows such as the Dwayne Johnson comedy-drama Ballers, Tin Star and Ray Donovan.
Customers with more than eight years under their belt will jump to the Platinum tier, which comes with free Sky Fibre set up and, from September, a boost to a Sky Mobile "data piggy bank." Sky VIP Black, meanwhile, is the top tier with free Sky Q set up and "priority" customer service through a dedicated phone number and special Sky VIP advisor.
Subscribers will be able to check their level and available perks through the My Sky app. Most of the benefits sound a little weak, though some, like the new Sky Atlantic VIP channel, could be enough to keep customers from switching. Regardless, the scheme is a clear indication that Sky is taking its UK competition seriously. A couple of months back, the company restructured Sky Sports so that every sport had its own channel and customers could fine-tune their packages. Clearly, this is a response to BT, as well as the growing number of people who are cutting the cord entirely.