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Sky introduces monthly fee for ad-skipping on Sky Stream and Sky Go

The war on ad avoidance entered a new phase this week with the news that Sky is now charging customers £5 a month if they skip ads on its Sky Stream and Sky Go products. The company’s Ad Skipping pack has been free until now, but from December 1 became a subscription service for those who haven’t opted out.

Sky explained: “With the Ad Skipping Add On, you’ll be able to fast forward through adverts when using Live Pause, Restart, Playlist or Sky On Demand. The Ad Skipping pack doesn’t mean that you won’t see any adverts…It just lets you fast forward through the ads using the relevant remote control buttons and on screen menu. It doesn’t fast forward ads in Live TV or other TV apps, like YouTube or Spotify.”

Monetising ad skipping is part of a wider shift in the industry which has seen ad-funded broadcasters and platforms seek to introduce charges for the privilege of avoiding ads. It comes at a time when SVOD players are introducing ad-funding tiers, suggesting an overall attempt by the media industry to redefine the dual revenue stream model.

The charges don’t yet apply to Sky’s new Glass TV – though the tech capability is available. It is likely to be at least 18 months before this platform is also covered. In related news, this week sees the launched of ITV streamer ITVX – an ad-funded streamer which also offers its customers the option of an ad-free subscription tier.

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