Survey: what do industry analysts think of the future of bundling?

Survey: what do industry analysts think of the future of bundling?

Fortumo frequently engages with approximately 60 industry analysts who research payments, carrier billing and innovation in the digital ecosystem. We share our insights and data with them, and they give the same back. Last week, we ran a short survey among our contacts, asking them about the future of bundling.

30 of them had time to get back to us and here are the results.

What digital segments have the most potential for telco bundle partnerships?

Music and video streaming services are today the most widely bundled products with telcos. But thinking ahead a couple of years, this segment will reach a saturation point. The majority of subscribers will either have activated their streaming offers, or the content proposition has not been valuable to them. So where should telcos look next? We gave analysts the following options to consider for the future of bundling:

  • None, people are only interested in streaming

  • Games (e.g. free games or in-game content)

  • Newspapers, magazines & e-books (e.g. free subscriptions)

  • Microfinance (e.g. discounted insurance)

  • Transportation (e.g. free taxi rides or bus passes)

  • Social networks (e.g. free sticker packs or premium dating services)

  • Software (e.g. word processing, anti-viruses or cloud hosting services)

None of the analysts surveyed thought streaming would remain the only category of bundled content for telcos. Among the other segments, here’s how the breakdown looked like:

The dominance of gaming (26 respondents) is no surprise, as an estimated 2.4 billion people (32% of the global population) will be playing games this year, thanks to mobile gaming becoming widely accessible due to cheap mobile data and smartphones.

But what’s the potential in other segments? Here’s how we see the collaboration with telcos could happen, ranked from biggest to lowest potential:

  • Microfinance (19): in case of microfinance, the best match is in insurance services (which are essentially a subscription service); among others, insurance could be bundled for the phone itself, other personal assets and healthcare
  • Transportation (14): telcos can seek out partnerships with public transportation companies for free monthly passes to metro, bus and train rides; there is also the opportunity of working with ridesharing companies to offer free ride credits to users
  • Newspapers (13): digital publications are quite similar to streaming services in terms of how they are consumed; audiovisual content produced by publishers (audiobooks, video and audio news stories) also supports telcos’ goal of increasing mobile data usage
  • Social networks (9): the main opportunity would be to hand out free sticker packs and subscription access on networks where it’s available; zero-rating data for networks where (video) calls are supported can be another direction
  • Software (6): based on the number of analyst responses, this segment doesn’t look to be too exciting; however, productivity tools (such as office software, anti-viruses and cloud hosting software) could be considered by telcos for their corporate customers

Telcos’ approach to bundling needs to be scalable

In the next few years, telcos will likely see the need and opportunity to bring aboard additional digital content segments. We don’t know what the next big category for bundling will be. But the first-mover advantage will be for telcos who have built their bundling infrastructure in a flexible manner, accounting for needs of many different digital segments.

Our own Trident Bundling Platform is also built this way: it doesn’t matter what kind of digital content is bundled and whether it’s for telco-merchant or merchant-merchant partnerships. Get in touch if you want to find out more about how we can support you in getting bundle partnerships off the ground.