Amazon Prime Video is entering the operator channel. T-Mobile is a pioneer.
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T-Mobile is the first in the telecommunications market to enter into a partnership with Amazon Prime Video. The platform is available in direct sales as well within the IPTV offer. As a result, T-Mobile already acts as an agent in the sale of three SVOD services, including Netflix and Ipla.
T-Mobile and alliance with three SVOD services
T-Mobile is the first operator in the country to establish cooperation with SVOD platform Amazon Prime Video, introducing the service to its offer. The Amazon Prime Video application expands the operator’s portfolio of entertainment services offered as part of the convergent offering. Convergence of services, with a particular focus on home product development, is one of the key elements of the company’s long-term strategy.
T-Mobile launched its first comprehensive home offering in the middle of this year under the Magenta 1 brand. It includes a package of mobile, fixed and entertainment services based on mobile and fibre-optic infrastructure (Orange). In its entertainment offer, T-Mobile positions IPTV (equipped with a decoder, using Android TV and 4K technology) and access to Netflix, Eleven Sports, Ipla, free digital TV channels, games and entertainment for children. The Magenta 1 brand is used throughout the Deutsche Telekom Group in Europe. The operator also plans to develop a wide range of packages combining Amazon Prime Video with other telecommunications and entertainment services.
Availability of Amazon Prime Video on T-Mobile
Amazon Prime Video subscribers may be current and new Magenta 1 customers or subscribers to other mobile services. At the beginning, customers can take advantage of a 7-day promotional period free of charge. The service can be used in direct access, but also via T-Mobile decoder, as part of IPTV fibre-optic television. The payment for the subscription is made on one T-Mobile account. The monthly cost of access to the platform is PLN 13 for the first half of the year of using the service. Later, the fee for the monthly subscription amounts to PLN 26.
The potential of SVOD as a value-added service offered by mobile operators
SVOD services attract the largest number of users of paid VOD services on the Polish market. PMR estimates that in 2018 the number of paid subscribers (or rather RGU) for SVOD services in Poland amounted to 2.7 million, of which 46% was distributed through the operator channel (mainly HBO GO, mainly through pay TV providers available from a digital decoder, and Netflix, Showmax and Player). Currently, on the mobile telecommunications market, the Netflix platform is available in the Orange, T-Mobile and P4 offerings. In addition, T-Mobile launched Magenta 1 brand and launched Ipla and Amazon Prime Video platforms in the operator channel. Until recently, HBO GO was sold exclusively in the operator channel as a supplement to linear TV and required access to a decoder. After the introduction of the platform in direct sales in March 2018, Polkomtel (Plus network operator) offered independent access to the platform in the mobile operator channel.
VOD services, including primarily the subscription model, are one of the segments of value-added services in mobile telephony (VAS) with the highest growth potential. In the years 2019-2024 CAGR growth for the value of the market of paid VOD services in Poland is expected by PMR at the level of 7.8%. At the same time, the number of paid users of VOD services will increase by 1.6 million in the indicated period, which will be a result of subscription access services. In the longer term, the market will be also particularly stimulated by the development of the 5G network.
The positive economic situation on the VOD market is a special opportunity for mobile operators for successful alliances with SVOD services. The benefits are two-way. Subscription platforms thus receive a wider reach for monetization of their services. This is determined by the demand factor and the convenience of payment for subscription by direct billing method, i.e. adding it to the mobile phone bill. On the side of mobile operators, cooperation is connected with a specific margin for intermediation in the sale of subscriptions. In addition, mobile operators may deepen their partnership with SVOD services thanks to a special offer of data packages dedicated to video services – Video Pass, thanks to which watching VOD content on the move does not consume mobile data transmission available under a given tariff. Currently, Video Pass is available in the Orange (Orange Flex), T-Mobile (Supernet Video) and Play (Video Non Stop) offerings. In PMR’s opinion, this solution should gain in importance in the future. On European markets it is also becoming more and more standardized.