Today we consume media on multiple connected devices –from smartphones to catch up on the day’s news headlines; and downloading our favorite Netflix series on our tablets; to purchasing and watching the latest films at home on our smart TVs.It’s thanks to fixed and mobile telecom operators that we have the all-important connectivity which enables us to do this.
However, in an era of stagnant revenues, simply providing connectivity is no longer a lucrative business. The pressure is on for telcos to create new business models that support their current revenue streams and deliver future growth.
To do this many established telcos are turning to TV and media streaming services as a new way to attract new subscribers, retain existing ones and grow their bottom line. AT&T is a good example of this. Last year in the US, it made headlines thanks to its USD$84bn bid to acquire media giant Time Warner – building its acquisition of digital satellite broadcaster DirecTV in 2015. At the end of November, AT&T launched DirecTV Now, an online TV streaming service that offers subscribers access to over 100 channels for a flat monthly fee.
But this is just one piece of the puzzle. To become a profitable digital media company, and compete with the likes of Google, Facebook and Netflix, telcos must become significantly more proficient and attractive as a channel for advertisers and brands to work with.
Previous attempts by telcos to claim a share of the online and mobile advertising market have failed to live up to expectations. They’ve tried to use contextual data such as customers’ personal details (their age, gender, preferences) plus their location, as the means to deliver tailored and targeted ads and messages to people’s devices, without success.
So what’s changed? Telcos now have access to the three Cs; convergence, content, and customer analytics.
1. Convergence: As we’ve seen, increasing numbers of telcos now offer combined fixed and mobile ‘multi-play’ services. This means they have an even broader and more in-depth view of their customers’ behaviours than before. Everything from the usual demographic information such as age, gender and where they live: to what websites they browse or online purchases they make: plus mobile specific data points such as location, what apps they use – even when and how often they use them.
2. Content: When we add in customers’ digital content and media habits – what they read or watch, when they read or watch it, what device or screen they read or watch it on – it’s clear that converged telcos now have a deep and wide-ranging customer dataset. If used correctly, this dataset gives them exceptional insight and visibility into their customers’ daily digital lives. Armed with this breadth of information, telcos have a unique proposition to present to advertisers and brands. They can be an effective, aggregated channel for reaching and engaging with targeted consumer groups, across multiple devices and screens.
3. Customer analytics: Analytics is the crucial ingredient with which operators can properly understand their customers’ behavior, preferences and content usage. By combining and analyzing the extended range of customer datasets available to it, a telco can offer brands and advertisers new, more accurate ways to access particular audiences.
The opportunity is large enough that there’s room to grab a slice of the market alongside the established digital players. But they must act now.
Read Ted Woodbery’s full article here via Telecoms.com.