James Morton - Sky Store

James Morton, Strategy & Product Controller, Sky Store

What first led you into entertainment retailing?

Being in the right place at the right time - I was assigned to an EST service assessment whilst working in Sky’s Strategic Planning Group, which ultimately led to my joining the Sky Store team.

How long have you been at Sky and what’s your role?

Eight years, comprising roles in finance and strategic planning before joining Store. I currently head up business strategy for Store, shaping the five year vision, assessing new initiatives and working closely with colleagues in Product on the Sky Store roadmap.

What do you love about your job?

Having the opportunity to try new things and learn by doing, working with an entrepreneurial group of people in a startup environment but with the support of a big company.

Describe the Sky Store business

Sky Store is Sky’s transactional on demand service which allows you to buy or rent movies. Our Buy & Keep service is a digital-led, hybrid offering that delivers your movie direct to your television, across your devices and as a DVD direct to your door. We offer thousands of movies to Sky subscribers through their set top boxes and to anyone in the UK or Ireland through our website and OTT apps.

What is the main challenge for the entertainment retail industry today?

Creating a compelling case for ownership - there are numerous opportunities to access content through subscription services so retail has to deliver an engaging experience that makes customers want to own content and not simply consume it

Apart from your own, what is your favourite entertainment retailer and why?

Amazon for their long tail offering of video, audio, gaming and literary titles through a single online shop.

What was the first ever film and album you owned and where did you buy them?

There were probably cassettes and VHS tapes from Woolworths but my first DVD was The Matrix from HMV and my first CD was Bryan Adams Unplugged from a Virgin Megastore.

What non entertainment retailer do you admire and why?

Apple for their distinctly different take on a retail store experience.

You’re stuck in a lift, name the book, album, film, game and person that you would like to have with you.

Ed Catmull’s ‘Creativity Inc.’ (the next book on my “to read” list), Brad Paisley’s ‘This Is Country Music’ (“One Of Those Lives” is a track that puts getting stuck in a lift in perspective), Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (unless it’s December then it would have to be Die Hard), Tetris (meaning that no other entertainment is really required) and I assume that the person is my four year old son given his propensity to press every button in a lift simultaneously (in which case I should probably select a very different choice of book, album, film and game to keep him entertained!).

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