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Survey: 88% UK, US telcos planning super bundling

July 13, 2023

Almost nine in ten (88 per cent) of the leading telcos in the US and UK are planning to offer ‘super bundling’ as they prioritise revenue growth and customer retention.

That’s according to a survey of 115 telco leaders — senior strategic decision makers and budget holders within telecommunications brands — who are eyeing how best to secure their share of a predicted $600 billion subscriptions market by 2026. The survey — commissioned by Bango — found that more than eight in ten (82 per cent) telco leaders are convinced that offering super bundling and content aggregation is key to customer retention and acquisition.

Almost nine in ten (88 per cent) believe super bundling will provide a vital source of future revenue.

The speed at which telcos are moving to implement super bundling — in response to consumer demands for greater choice and flexibility — should come as no surprise. Bundling in all its forms — be it free minutes for voice calls to offering streaming sports content — has been a favoured tactic of telcos for decades.

Super bundling is the next step for customer engagement

In the early days, bundling was focused on adding value by bundling call minutes and texts to monthly bills. As the model matured, telcos found they could attract and retain customers by offering subscription services as part of their packages.

Today, super bundling is the next logical step, providing customers with access to a huge range of subscription services — managed through a single content hub — and charged as one monthly bill.

What’s more, customers can’t get enough of it. Almost eight in ten (79 per cent) of US consumers say they would be “more loyal” to a telco that provides an all-in-one subscription service. More than half (58 per cent) say they would be prepared to leave their current TV, mobile or broadband provider if a super bundling platform was offered elsewhere.

As this ‘third generation’ of bundling becomes the norm, experts predict that it could fundamentally alter telco business models for good.

This is backed up by the research which found that more than eight in ten (82 per cent) of telco leaders want their organisations to become more than ‘just’ a telco company. At the same time, 84 per cent believe customers should increasingly see them as content providers first and network providers second.

In the US, for example, Verizon has been making waves with its +play platform which brings together Netflix, Disney+, Max, Paramount+ and more. Similarly, in Australia, Optus has launched SubHub, providing flexible access to dozens of streaming services and subscriptions.

Telcos have become content hubs

These platforms go way beyond just video streaming services – offering a huge variety of apps spanning music, healthcare, fitness, productivity and more.

But it’s not all plain sailing. In the rush to roll out their own aggregation platforms, some telcos are finding that manually building a super bundling content hub from scratch can be complex, time-consuming and not a task that should be undertaken without in-house expertise.

When pressed, telco leaders said they expect to invest on average between $10 million and $20 million on developing their super bundling platform. One in seven (14 per cent) believe it could cost even more than that.

One of the biggest struggles is establishing the vast number of relationships with the necessary subscription providers that make up a compelling subscriptions hub.

That’s why more than half of telcos (51 per cent) have turned to a third party like Bango to unlock these relationships and develop their super bundling platform for them.

Categories: Headline, Markets, Pay TV, Premium, Research, Telco, VOD

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