Here’s how complimentary offers are helping to increase customer lifecycle for the top telco players

The partnership between OTT players and telco companies is for keeps. A recent study shows how carrier-bundled OTT media services not only make users spend more on their mobile and home broadband bills, but also be more loyal towards the carriers.
Until a few years ago, we could never imagine a consumer’s relationship with their smartphone! But, today, most people are hungry for mobile data and stream video content on their handsets.(Pexels)
Until a few years ago, we could never imagine a consumer’s relationship with their smartphone! But, today, most people are hungry for mobile data and stream video content on their handsets.(Pexels)
Updated on Jun 13, 2020 09:42 PM IST
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ByPromotional Feature, HT Brand Studio

Over the years, consumers have been facing the ‘problem of plenty’, and the same applies to telecom companies. No wonder, there is a cut-throat competition among them to retain customers. Today, consumers have the power to switch to other operators if they are dissatisfied with any brand, and this keeps even the biggest names in the business on the edge at all times.

Providing the highest quality of service and lucrative offers serve as the best way to appease people, since the preferences of the new-age consumer are completely different from the rest.

Until a few years ago, we could never imagine a consumer’s relationship with their smartphone! But, today, most people are hungry for mobile data and stream video content on their handsets. All in all, they are hooked to their screens.

This shift has been driven by affordable smartphones, and even more affordable data plans. An increasing number of people in India are switching to smartphones. According to research, smartphone users in India crossed the 500 million mark.

The rise of complimentary offers

The partnership between OTT players and telco companies is for keeps. For OTT players, bundling has several advantages - it increases distribution, helps break into new markets, aids marketing, and boosts paid-user share, among others. In the case of carriers, it helps improve ARPu and retain users.

Jio has a slew of bundled services that it offers such as Jio TV+, ZEE5, Hotstar among many, and so does Airtel - it provides plans to stream ZEE5, Prime Video and Wynk, as part of its Airtel Thanks benefits. Similarly, Vodafone customers have access to Vodafone Play, where they can not only watch free Live TV, but also watch premium content from players such as ZEE5, Hoichoi, Shemaroo etc.. The recent launch of bundled offerings from Airtel by tying up with ZEE5 and Hotstar is another step in the right direction.

A study by Ovum suggests that 42% of the respondents feel that having the media bundle makes them spend more on their carrier plan. That’s not all - 46% respondents are willing to pay for premium media services, if offered discount or extended free trials.

This spells a great opportunity for telecom operators to appease the consumer in the right manner.

The research also found that OTT services have a triple effect - carrier-bundled OTT media services make users spend more on their mobile and home broadband bills. Users also tend to be more loyal towards carriers who provide the right media offer.

The India advantage

Speaking of India, the country offers multiple opportunities to grow OTT media subscriptions. Did you know that India has one of the highest numbers of users with carrier-bundled paid media services? Yes, that’s true - India has a relatively big share of users (second only to Thailand) when it comes to carrier-bundled paid media services.

What’s more, India has the second largest share after Thailand of OTT video subscriptions via telco bills. Kids’ learning-thru-fun apps feature particularly highly in Indian consumers’ top bundling choices.

That’s not all - complimentary OTT media service makes Indians spend more on mobile or fixed broadband subscriptions, as statistics shared by Ovum show. Together with Thailand, India registers the strongest retention effects from bundling. And guess what? India shows the strongest user-acquisition potential from bundling, with 30% willing to churn. Also, in a country where ‘Free’ stuff is valued a lot, complimentary offers can help a lot in acquiring the fence sitters.

Based on the patterns of Indian consumers, Indians prefer subscription to multiple paid online streaming services. Nearly 56% of Indian respondents have subscribed to more than one paid online video service. And here, local brands are more preferred by users than the global ones. But why is it that there are multiple subscriptions? The report suggests that every household has members with different tastes, which is why several paid plans are required to satiate the appetite.

Discounting and free trials can also attract more consumers but providing complimentary services makes the users feel valuable and make the bundled offering quite interesting.

The last word

The new-age consumer is particular about his choices, and at the same time, wants a bang for his buck. With telcos and OTT players coming together to provide best of complimentary offers, long-term growth is imminent during this time of transformation and beyond. This is the best way to even increase the customer lifecycle and enhance loyalty.

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Monday, November 29, 2021