Today, telecom operators aren’t just connectivity providers—the advent of quad play services means that along with internet access and wireless services, they’re also providing TV and mobile phone offerings.
But the quad-play offering isn’t new, and in an increasingly competitive market, telcos are trying to do more in order to differentiate and stand out from the crowd. A big area of focus for telcos is in the world of TV, media and entertainment, where they see a prime opportunity. AT&T for example, has made a huge play for this market with the acquisition of Time Warner. With the acquisition, not only will AT&T have its DirecTV service, but it will also own Turner Broadcasting and HBO—which means it will also own the likes of CNN, TBS, TNT and Warner Bros—making it a significant player in the TV market.
How Trade-In Can Retain TV Subscribers
One particular reason that telcos believe they have a role to play in the world of TV is because they benefit from a direct relationship with the subscriber—something that the broadcasters lack.
But telcos also have another vehicle they can take advantage of thanks to their quad play offering, in order to help them thrive in the TV market—mobile device trade-in services. On the face of things, it may seem that mobile trade-ins have little to do with a telco’s TV offering—but just in the same way that trade-ins can help an operator meet commercial targets for its mobile service offering by creating net adds by helping to entice new customers or having a customer recommit for 2 or more years via a device finance, trade-ins can be very complementary to meeting commercial numbers, and helping to attract and retain TV subscribers.
Let’s use AT&T as an example again. Even with just its DirecTV business, the operator will have commercial targets to meet for its TV offering; just in the same way that it will have targets to meet for its internet and wireless services; and targets to drive its mobile subscribers.
Mobile device trade-ins can be used by the operator to help meet those targets. When a subscriber opts to trade in a device and upgrade to a newer model, what typically happens is that the customer is recouping the latent value within the older device, and will use that money to contribute towards upgrading to a newer model—a model that they may have been unable to afford without that extra money—or is given as credit to put towards a payment plan, or is used in store as credit.
However, an operator can use that latent value in different ways. When a customer trades in a mobile device, an operator can offer that customer different ways in which to spend the money they receive for the trade-in—and not just spend it on a smartphone. In AT&T’s case, this could be as simple as saying this money could be put towards a DirecTV sports package. Not only does the customer remain a loyal customer on the mobile side of the business, trading in a device and upgrading, but they are also being offered a deal that normally, they wouldn’t have thought of. Offers such as these also help to drive TV subscriber figures—and may even lead to a customer subscribing to a sports package for good.
The Importance of a Trade-In Program
It’s not just a model that operators can use either—with OEMs advancing into different markets, it’s easy for Apple for example, to use this model to help drive sales of its Apple TV service via its own trade-in program (and with rumors of Apple launching its own streaming service, trade-ins could be a very helpful tool to help drive subscribers to this new service).
At HYLA , we believe that mobile device-trade ins are an important tool in an operator’s toolkit. Trade-in programs ensure that customers get the best deal, and retrieve the value in a device that would otherwise be left in a drawer or worse, thrown in the trash and end up in landfill. Not only are operators able to keep customers happy by giving them a good deal, but also, they can retrieve additional value from a pre-owned device by using the device again—whether that’s for insurance purposes or selling into different markets outside of the US. And finally, the environment benefits from devices having a longer life, and becoming less disposable.
With the lines between TV, mobiles and internet access blurring, operators need to ensure they remain relevant, but also keep their customers loyal. Mobile device trade-ins are a great way for operators to maintain customer loyalty as they expand into new markets.
If you’d like some more information on how HYLA Mobile can support your trade-in program, get in touch with us today.