A new report from Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IP&TV News) warns telecom operators that the days of the old-style triple or quad-play bundles are numbered.
Going forward, operators will have to offer a whole range of new content and applications within their bundled products – including OTT content from companies like Netflix and Spotify and even VoIP from providers like Skype – to keep their subscribers happy.
The report, called ‘Beyond Quad-Play: How Multi-Screen, OTT and the Cloud Are Transforming Next-Generation Bundling’, takes a global snapshot of the fast-changing bundling market and shows how operators across the global market are offering new services and applications to bring more value to their bundled products.
However, Tony Brown, Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media and lead author of the report, cautions operators that the next-generation bundling market will be a challenging one in which they will not necessarily reap direct financial rewards from the new products that they include in their bundled offers.
“We have already seen from the early deployment of multiscreen TV services by operators that many subscribers are highly resistant to paying extra for new services – so many of these new services really have to be included as part of the existing bundled price,” he says.
“Operators need to see the addition of these new services, such as cloud storage or OTT content, as something that brings extra value and increases customer loyalty – and go at least some way to neutering the threat posed by OTT players in a number of fields.”
Furthermore, the report also details how operators – particularly those in developing markets such as Africa and the Indian sub-continent – are now looking to take advantage of their existing relationship with subscribers to sell a whole range of non-telecoms services such as insurance and banking service, with operators like Safaricom in Kenya leading the charge.
“These operators are really stealing a march on their counterparts in developed markets by using the position of trust and ongoing relationship that they have established with their subscribers to open up much wider commercial opportunities – the possibilities they have created are potentially game-changing in the wider telecoms market,” Brown says.
Meanwhile, Brown also says that, in addition to offering new services such as OTT and multiscreen content and cloud-delivered services within their bundled offering, many global operators are now also revamping their customer loyalty programs to make sure that their bundled subscribers are well rewarded.
“Orange has long been an excellent exponent of providing very effective customer loyalty programs to its subscribers, giving away products such as half-price movie tickets and discounts at various types of retail outlets – this is a strategy we expect to be more widely adopted by other operators to reward their most valuable subscribers,” he says.