YouTube and the opportunity to own part of the content world

At the recent YouTube Pulse, I shared how DiGi was using the platform to drive meaningful business – buying YouTube ads, and creating ads catered for the YouTube audience.

Like most other brands, we have not garnered significant subscribers on our YouTube channel. We are able to command large number of views on (some) individual videos, but havent quite figured out the way to tap into owning a content channel.

It was an eye opener and reminder that the world is moving faster than we think it is. On YouTube we find the younger audience now completely driving new content categories. Bethany Mota, among others. The channel has over 6 million subscribers, even higher than Lady Gaga, and she is driving an audience that wants to hear her story via all forms of social media.

What is intriguing for a telco is that the way we usually think, we force fit ourselves into a different end of the spectrum of Google’s content machine. We are spending money on ads, and working on metrics to monetise the returns on those investments – YouTube-specific ads, complemented by search buys and more. But what about the opportunity to  produce and own the content? 

I ponder on the opportunity for traditional Internet access providers / telcos to move into this space. With some money, we could invest into owning new forms of content categories that have the potential to be “milked” in many ways in the future. Building an audience that wants this content may turn this into a product / brand of its own. I feel brands that get their heads around this will win big.

After all, content is evergreen.

New Postpaid Smart Plans with Smart Apps, Norton and Deezer

We just relaunched the DiGi Postpaid Smart Plans – touted as the most complete Internet plan for smartphones. It now comes with more Smart Apps quota, unlimited WhatsApp, unlimited surfing via Opera Mini, unlimited weekend calls, Norton Mobile Security, and Unlimited Music Streaming with Deezer.

Check out the TV commercial and the YouTube pre-roll ad below. The ballerina video has done well in terms of engaging our target audience.

Lowering the barrier for social messaging & surfing on mobile

We just relaunched our weekly Internet subscriptions for prepaid customers. Another innovation milestone for the team!

In this latest release, DiGi is introducing a weekly subscription for RM3 (~1USD) that offers unlimited high speed messaging via WhatsApp and WeChat, plus unlimited surfing via Opera Mini. There is no quota attached to this subscription, but customers can easily add the data they need via a simple Internet Top Up. Moreover, there is a distinction in the user experience compared to other products in the market: (a) social messaging at high speed will provide a superb experience for photo sharing and voice messaging, (b) unlimited surfing via Opera Mini, will give full high speed access to the “browsable” WWW and lowers the entry barrier to get online on mobile.

Social messaging is fast becoming an “always on” need for many people. As mobile operators move from traditional SMS to these rich communication apps, we will likely see more innovations in this space around: (a) bite-sized pricing, (b) on-demand prepaid pricing for specific apps at specific times / locations, (c) revisions of traditional throttling policies that give away free data at low speeds in order to monetize from that “always on” need.

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Links / reviews: Lowyat.net, SoyaCincau, Amanz

Making it easy after you have reached your Internet quota

In this day and age where unlimited data plans are a thing of the past, we are striving to make life easier for customers to continue using the Internet after hitting their monthly quotas.

We provide 2 options: (a) unlimited surfing via Opera Mini which allows us to also compress traffic while giving it away for free, (b) affordable one-time passes that can be purchased via MyInternet.com.my or by dialing *200#

Managing excess usage policies is going to be a core part of most mobile operators, and we seem to be on the right track in balancing this to meet our customers expectations.

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60 Vespas in 60 Days

DiGi ran this contest from 2 September to 31 October to drive sales of prepaid Internet subscriptions. 60 yellow Vespas, one to be won every day.

And wow, what an overwhelming response!

When we do contests like these, we would be investing a lot into prizes and promotional activities. In return, we bank on driving more awareness for the products which in turn helps us grow revenue. A well run contest can typically help grow incremental service revenues of between 1-5% within the campaign period after taking off all expenditure.

This contest has been a great success in re-communicating our core position for the year on weekly Internet subscriptions.

But more importantly, it has put wide smiles on our customers faces.

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Links: Press Release, The Star – 60 winners of telco contest collect their scooters

START – entry-level tablet for on-the-go usage

Tablets are becoming more prevalent in the market today. While there is a wide range of 7″ Android tablets entering the market, most of them are WiFi-only. We have taken one step to customize an Android tablet under a new brand name called Start. Packaged together with an Internet connection and free Deezer for RM45 per month, it’s a good package for budget-conscious customers.

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Link to Press Release

Direct Operator Billing with Windows and Blackberry

We have finally completed the integration with the Windows Phone store and Blackberry World. This means that DiGi subscribers can now purchase premium apps on these stores and pay for the apps using their DiGi bill / prepaid balance. In Malaysia, most customers seem to be shying away from entering their credit card details on the app stores, or probably don’t have a credit card to begin with.

This is a giant step for us to help make life easier for customers and give developers immediate access to our customer base.

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Special thanks for the coverage by Amanz:

DiGi Menjadi Yang Pertama Menyokong Pembayaran WP Store Melalui Bil Telekomunikasi

DiGi Menawarkan Pembayaran Melalui Bil Telekomunikasi Untuk Pembelian Di BlackBerry World