The year ahead is ripe for service providers to embrace new business models, in order to claim a share of the expanding digital content and services market. Below we predict three different ways in which carriers will find ways to stimulate new revenue streams and monetize their investments in 2017.
Operator monetization strategies
Notable acquisitions in the last twelve months in the US indicate that operators are taking steps into the lucrative digital advertising market. AT&T announced a planned acquisition of media giant Time Warner for USD$85bn, while Verizon made two high-profile acquisitions over the last 12 months with AOL (June 2015) and Yahoo! (July 2016). These strategic deals signal a clear intention to harness and monetize digital content in the face of declining ARPU.
If operators plan to cash in on the growing digital content market, they must embrace change and evolve their business models. AT&T and Verizon are perfect examples of carriers using their networks to enter into new marketplaces and seek out new opportunities. We predict that the US will continue to take the lead on this, with service providers in EMEA evolving on a smaller scale.
Better data, better context
There is ever increasing competition from OTTs, search and content companies that are making profits from selling customer analytics data to brands. Luckily for service providers, they are uniquely positioned to deliver three of the most powerful forms of contextual data for advertisers that play to service providers’ strengths – content, location and behavior.
Operators know the location of consumers better than anyone as they have to collaborate and share networks. They also own the billing relationship so are first point of contact for consumers. This makes them more trusted, with unique insights and visibility into consumers’ app, web, digital content and voice usage.
Operators’ holistic view of customers’ daily lives places them in an ideal position to cross sell and upsell new content features and services to derive revenue at the point of sale and also through ongoing analytics into consumption habits. But to ensure they are able to monetize these assets, in 2017 they must begin to launch their own digital platforms that incorporate customer analytics to capitalize on the opportunity at hand.
New content partnerships
If 2017 is to see operators become digital media companies, they must become significantly more proficient as a channel to promote other brands. This means updating existing platforms and pursuing new content partnerships in order to expand and develop unique relationships with their customers. Operators must learn to harness the customer data they already possess and monetize it in the way that a “conventional” media company does.
By examining and analyzing individual customers’ behaviors in an aggregated form, operators can develop precise segmentation and targeting strategies for brands and advertisers. Ultimately, they should seek to emulate their OTT competitors’ business models and learn how to work better with publishers, brands and advertisers. They should create new and incremental market opportunities for themselves and participate more successfully in the OTT channel.
2017 will require a cultural shift by operators to embrace new business models; and to become disruptive, experimental and inquisitive. At Synchronoss, we believe that the key to unlocking this opportunity lies in analytics. Through this, operators can properly understand customer behavior, preferences and content usage and will ultimately leverage their assets and monetize the wealth of customer data available to them.
Read the full article on The Fast Mode.