Long reads


The Euro50 Q&A: Holly Knill, BSkyB

Holly Knill, head of BSkyB’s Sky Go, Sky Player and Mobile TV, has this year seen through the launch of Sky Go, the company’s new ‘place-shifting’ service, as well as overseeing the further development of Sky Player and mobile video.

Age A child of the seventies.

Education Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and English) and a postgraduate in Multimedia from the University of Auckland.

Previous positions Director of content strategy & acquisition, Joost (UK), business development director, TwoFour54 (Abu Dhabi), Sky Television and TVNZ (New Zealand).

Last year’s highlights The launch of Sky Go was the result of sheer hard work by all the teams involved so it has been immensely rewarding to see our customers’ uptake and appreciation of the service.

Most significant industry development I think the fruits of recession are making themselves apparent. New start-ups in companion apps and social media such as Zeebox and Miso, acquisitions such as Amazon/Lovefilm and the upcoming arrival of new competitors e.g. Netflix, makes for a dynamic environment that means that we all need to continue to be at the top of our game.

Goals for next year Make future aspirations and products happen sooner. We will make Sky Go an even better service and broaden its availability across more devices. We are working on its ‘awesomeness’ even as I write this.

Industry challenges and opportunities The challenges and opportunities can be one and the same. Better connectivity and broader aggregated services (both hopefully leading to less piracy and happier viewing experiences). For example, Sky’s acquisition of The Cloud will make it even easier for customers to use products like Sky Go to watch content on the move.

Alternative career choice War correspondent or winemaker (although I’m answering this in relatively WiFi and 3G-free Havana so if digital wasn’t an option perhaps a Cuban percussionist).

TV character most identified with Somewhere between M from Bond, Hit Girl from Kick Ass and Beatrix Kiddo in Kill Bill.

Most admired personality Christopher Hitchens. His command of English language and argument is so compelling you need not agree with his opinion to enjoy it.

Life outside work Travel, ski and drink good wine with friends and family, go to plays and lectures, indulge in newspapers (in hard copy) and for reasons I don’t profess to understanding, watch F1 (coming soon to Sky).