Retail ‘critical for Sky Player’

UK Xbox boss Neil Thompson has called retail ‘critical’ to the success of its Sky Player service on Xbox.

The service – which allows Sky subscribers to watch Sky TV through Xbox – launched last week. Microsoft has released a retail pack, which features a media remote, one-month’s subscription to Sky and three months of Xbox Live Gold for 29.99.

We try to include retail in all that we offer, especially around Live,” Thompson told MCV.

Retail is a critical component in educating consumers around the breadth of services we offer on Xbox.

We’ll constantly look at new ways of packaging Live services at retail and figuring out ways we can provide compelling offerings on the High Street.

One of the reasons for creating the retail packs is for gift giving. When consumers plug their Xbox in on Christmas day, they often jump straight on Xbox Live. And something like this Sky pack would be great for Boxing Day football.”

The Sky service is only available in the UK, and Thompson is confident it will boost hardware sales – with marketing planned all the way until Christmas and beyond.

We’ve started a lot of the marketing – we’ve been on TV already,” he added.

We will constantly promote this, both through retail as well as online through In terms of advertising, it will come more in peaks. However, there will be continuous service-based activity between now and Christmas and Sky will be part of that.

The more entertainment services we offer, the more likely it is people will value the Xbox and see it is as something they have to have. We do think it is very helpful in getting more people onto the platform and onto Xbox Live. In the UK we have more people on Xbox Live per Xbox sold than anywhere else in the world.

We are expecting Sky Player to be very successful and will be of great benefit to Xbox and Sky.”

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