Written by MB TechNews Staff
The global pandemic has changed consumer behavior. Uncertainties led consumers to spend their time and money carefully and wisely. When it comes to expenses, they still want to get the best value for money; but in addition, they also want comfort, accessibility and expediency especially now that mobility is arduous and burdensome caused by the strict implementation of quarantine protocols. Filipinos now rely more on the use of digital services be it for payments or purchase of their essentials. In reality, consumers don’t mind paying more as long as they save time and energy. For now, convenience is key.
Amdocs, a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies, recently conducted a study and it revealed that ease of payment and better customer support are the main reasons why Filipino consumers sign up for carrier-bundled media services. Forty-four percent of Filipino respondents revealed that they spend more on their mobile or home broadband subscriptions when bundled with over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services. Furthermore, when given the right media content offer, consumers are likely to stay loyal to their communications service provider (CSP).
“Even in price-sensitive markets such as the Philippines, India and Thailand, we found out that convenience triumphs over discounts and free offers in terms of how end-users perceive or want bundled media services. Consumers want reliability, consistency, and seamless and frictionless experience in their entertainment viewing and media consumption,” said Maya Barkay, head of marketing for Amdocs in Asia Pacific.
Barkay also mentioned that consumers are willing to pay a bit more for improved experience. ”With consistent good user experience comes loyalty,” she added.
More than providing bundled services, CSPs and OTT service providers must ensure effective user experience at the right price points. “If they [OTT service providers] can provide the right experience, there is going to be great consumer retention,” said Lior Friedman, vice president for Global Business Development at Amdocs Media.
The Philippines’ OTT media services market
Amdocs’ study shows Filipinos are the second most-avid users of OTT media services, with 55 percent having access to or have subscribed to paid OTT services. Only a little over half of them (52%), however, have subscribed to a bundled media service. If OTT media services are made more accessible and affordable through bundling, the percentage of people with paid OTT subscriptions may dramatically increase.
According to Barkay, the Philippine OTT market is unique because while Filipinos are keen OTT service users, only half of them are subscribed to bundled media. This presents a great opportunity that CSPs can seize to expand their markets. “Interestingly, the Philippines has a fragmented market. Some [consumers] want services bundled while others don’t,” she said.
Meanwhile, Filipino media consumption patterns before and during the pandemic are improving. Barkay said users want more of the same type of experience and consumption, premium media services and are willing to pay for better offerings.
Friedman noted current media consumption trends shaping the central home experience of many consumers such as increased gaming content, e-sports, and softer content categories such as fitness, software education and TED talks. He added that people are constantly looking for new ways to consume new types of content.
“Obviously, the trends are prevalent in many markets, including the Philippines. This is what we call adjacent media habits,” Friedman said.
To keep pace with the ever-increasing OTT content consumption in the country and meet the demand for enhanced and undisrupted user experience, especially during the pandemic, both CSPs and OTT players must consistently offer unique and near-perfect bundles that can be accessed via a single affordable plan.
Conducted by analyst and consultancy firm Ovum on behalf of Amdocs, the study surveyed more than 4,000 consumers in five emerging and developed countries in the Asia Pacific, with more than 20 percent of the respondents coming from the Philippines. The other countries surveyed are India, Thailand, Australia and Singapore.