Sky has just announced Sky VIP, a loyalty programme where length of tenure decides your benefits.

Unlike many schemes of this nature, which are designed to draw in new customers and keep them loyal, this one goes out of its way to reward existing customers, and the longer you’ve been with Sky, the better the deal.

There are four levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum and Black.

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New customers, instantly, join on the Sky VIP Silver band. When they’ve been subscribers for three years they slide up to Gold until they’ve been loyal for eight years. Customers with eight to 15 years subscriptions are Platinum members.

And if you’ve been with Sky already for 15 years then you are instantly on the highest tier, Sky VIP Black from the day the scheme launches, which is right now.

You join by going to the My Sky app and downloading Sky VIP, which will tell you what rewards you’re entitled to and access the welcome gift of a Sky Store Buy & Keep movie. This means you can pick a movie from a wide selection and you’ll own a digital download to watch whenever you like. Additionally, you’ll have a DVD of the movie posted to you.

If you’ve been with Sky for a while, you’re going to check the benefits before you think of leaving.

Other benefits of membership include being entitled to apply for exclusive prize draws for tickets to sporting events, cinema screenings and more. There are also ‘Money can’t buy’ experiences which you can apply for, such as a trip to Iceland to see some of the Game of Thrones filming locations.

Sky VIP Gold members have access to a new channel, Sky Atlantic VIP which lets you watch some of the Sky Atlantic output’s latest shows 24 hours early.

Obviously this doesn’t apply to live programming. Or Game of Thrones, by the way, as this is currently broadcast simultaneously with its US transmission, if you really want to get up at 2AM to watch it.

The next tier up, Platinum, offers you a free Sky Fibre set-up, among other things. All the ranks continue to enjoy the benefits from the lower tiers, too.

And Black means you can swap your existing satellite set-top box for the latest Sky Q set-up, with its 4K compatibility, voice search and slick-as-oil operating system. You can also access a priority customer service with its own phone number.

Higher levels get more chances in those desirable prize draws, too.

What’s interesting about this offer is how it benefits long-standing customers who don’t need to do anything, other than signing up to the scheme, to benefit. Most loyalty plans start their counting from today, not the 10 years or more you’ve been a member.

I was sceptical and asked Sky if there were very many people who qualified as Black. A couple of thousand, I ventured? No, there are millions of customers who’ve been with Sky for 15 years or more, I was told.

In fact, Sky has designed the four levels so they each, roughly, hold a quarter of their subscribers.

It’s a great way of encouraging new customers to join, of course, but more than that it’s a great way for a company to say thank you to its most faithful friends.

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