BSkyB will offer “buy and keep” movies for download

BSkyB is going to butt heads with the likes of Apple's iTunes Store, with the Sky Store set to offer films you can purchase and keep.

Currently, of course, you can pay to view movies with Sky, but this would allow customers to keep the movie download for good, as if they had bought the DVD (minus any packaging, naturally).

This new service will kick off in a matter of weeks, apparently, and was announced by Andrew Griffith, BSkyB's Chief Financial Officer, who talked briefly about the scheme at the Guardian's Changing Media Summit.

He said: "Having made a strong start in rentals, we think we can go one step further and actually start offering customers the opportunity to purchase movies from us and keep them forever. We think we are extremely well positioned to enter the market and take share."

According to Griffith, movies purchased in this way will "have all the flexibility and the convenience of a digital store but all delivered to your TV set with instant access through the touch of a button [on] the Sky remote".

There are a couple of question marks here, though, the most obvious one being pricing – which Sky tends to pitch on the higher side, which will give it a tough time competing against more thrifty movie providing rivals.

And the other major concern is if these downloads are stored on the hard drive of your Sky box, what happens if (or indeed when) you stop subscribing to Sky? Can you still access your paid-for movies? Will it be possible to download them elsewhere, say, onto a laptop?

No doubt we'll be hearing more about this scheme before long.

Image Credit: Flickr (coderkind)