The introduction of Prepaid Subscription models into the Pay-TV industry has proven to be one of the strongest ongoing growth strategies used by content providers worldwide. It is estimated that prepaid subscribers will account for nearly 80% of the worldwide subscriber base in 2019.
This model has been especially important in the developing regions and is now being used in more developed traditional postpaid markets giving customers flexibility around products and services such as holiday homes, transient students, broadband or video on demand. Operators understand that the prepaid strategies they implement will have a major impact on future profitability and potential growth.
Some of the key operational advantages of prepaid models are:
- Expanding customer base by minimizing the risk involved with serving customers who may be credit-challenged
- Better cash flow management
- Opening services to a broad range of customers
- Offering Value Added Services without commitment
- Retention of cord cutters
Although the prepaid subscription model does provide many advantages it also has its own unique set of challenges for operators to address such as:
- High rate of Churn
- Low barriers to competition
- Need for flexible payment methods
- Lower average revenue per user (ARPU)
Addressing these can include improvements to internal business processes, innovations to existing products and services, and perhaps new business models. Most important of these would be to focus on customer focused products and services that delivers value to the Pay-TV operator.
This is where a flexible and complete subscriber management and billing solution like Hansen ICX can help operators acquire and retain valuable prepaid subscribers.
First, it is important that a billing solution allows operators to provide flexible prepaid models that best serve the geographies they operate in.
Hansen ICX offers many varied prepaid billing models including:
- Wallet - Pay-as-you-go
- Quote based - Traditional postpaid concepts with in a prepaid model
- Voucher – More flexibility for each product and service
- Billing in advance – Normal invoicing with less liability
Second, a comprehensive billing solution must be capable of allowing customers to pay when, where and how they want, taking away the barriers that may cause a lost subscription. As more automated and flexible payment methods continue to emerge, the Pay-TV operator must have a billing platform that allows easy integration to enable these new payment channels. Hansen ICX is built with an open API and easy to use Integration Framework that is designed to reduce the time, cost, and effort of building integration solutions.
Finally, the subscriber management solution must have effective ways to identify and combat customer churn. Understanding your customer base through the data within the subscriber management solution is key to proactively satisfying your customers’ needs and building brand loyalty. Hansen ICX provides a robust Offers and Campaign functionality suite that allows an operator to target and incentivize prepaid subscribers to top up early and often.
As a Pay-TV operator, if you are looking to maintain your competitiveness in the prepaid subscription market, reach new audiences, make smarter decisions using your customer’s data and drive growth, talk to us about Hansen ICX.
Jack Korb is Senior Business Consultant for Hansen's ICX - the ultimate customer care and billing solution for Pay-TV operators that is scalable, functionally complete, and built for media monetization ecosystem. Jack has over 20 years of experience working with ICX and translating client business needs with the functional requirements.