I hate to carp on about it, but Fonix has landed a big one. No, really: it’s this big. Fonix’ recent deal with Fishing TV to use direct carrier billing (DCB) for access to TV content is DCB the milestone I have been angling for (sorry) for some time.
Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a lot of mainstream brands around the world start to implement DCB for everything from buying apps on Google Play, to buying items in games such as Fornite, through to DAZN offering it to snack on sports content in Germany. Now, we have hooked an excellent UK DCB implementation – this time for one of the things I have long said it was ideal for: streamed TV bites.
The Fishing TV deal will see the channel’s customers offered DCB as a payment choice on the payment page when they want to buy a subscription or access pay-to-view content, such fishing shows and films from around the world.
When users select the carrier billing option, they are automatically identified by their mobile phone, without having to input their number manually and can make the purchase.
Fishing TV is looking to up its content consumption and monetise it. Adding carrier billing makes that process all the more straightforward, as the more ways there are to pay, the more likely any brand be they a TV channel, a gambling operator, a games developer or even an app store is to convert.
For pay-TV services like Fishing TV, carrier billing has the added benefits of being mobile and immediate.
Snacking on content is increasing. Ten years ago, kids started to listen to the free song sample on iTunes, rather than purchasing the song. And they did this on mobile. So prevalent has it become, that many songs are constructed to have the verse, bridge and chorus all in the first 30 seconds and have been mastered to sound best on the tiny tinny speakers in a phone.
This move has morphed across all content types as digital had grown up along with Gen-Zers. Now it has come to TV.
While Fishing TV wants its customers and potential customers to use DCB to subscribe, what DCB really gives it is the means to sell snackable content. Making that a two-click process that is simple and painless is what DCB brings to the party.
Doing it on mobile also adds convenience: even if the transaction is being done on a smart TV, the mobile is always to hand.
Fishing for a trend
Fishing TV’s move, while cutting edge right now, is the shape of things to come. As we have seen, lockdown has prompted a rapid growth in online streaming of entertainment services – a trend set to continue – and more brands are going to be looking to for easy ways to pay.
In fact, consumer appetite for digital is set to swell even more post-lockdown than we have seen in the past few months.
According to research by Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), Consumers say that their dependency on digital services will surge by 27% upon exiting lockdown. The research finds that not only are these services entertaining, but they are also increasingly vital for mental health and well being.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents stated the use of online conferencing services such as Zoom and FaceTime has led to closer relationships with friends and family, and a third (30%) admitted any issues with conferencing services being unavailable would have resulted in these relationships suffering.
Fishing TV taps into both of these things: it is entertainment and hobby combined and using DCB to facilitate access to content easily not only makes good business sense, but also makes the whole Fishing TV idea more appealing to its market.
As Ed Burgass, Commercial Director at Fishing TV says: “As a brand, we are always looking at ways for fishing enthusiasts to conveniently access Fishing TV. Our partnership with Fonix means we can increase the current payment options we have for our customers to drive more traffic to our content globally. The services that Fonix have presented us with offer a real opportunity to give viewers the best experience when engaging with our channel.”
And you can’t land a better endorsement for DCB than that.