There has been a lot said and written about tripe play and how it has kept people interested in cable TV services. However, things have started to change in the past few years and people are now more interested in satellite TV services. The main reasons behind this major shift are the longevity of the contract and the price rise at the end of the promotion. These two factors have reflected many long-time cable TV users to other options like streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu.
Now, the question that arises here is what the future has in store for the triple play or bundling option.
What is the Triple Play and Quad Play?
As the name suggests, triple play is a combination or bundle of three different services, i.e. cable TV, internet, and landline. Similarly, quad-play includes TV, internet, landline, and smart home solutions.
The amalgamation of internet, phone, and cable TV has long been a viable option for American consumers as well as the service providers. Bundling allows people to get the maximum services in the minimum fee. However, the trend has made a visible shift recently as people are more concerned about the long-term contracts and the rise in price at the end of the promotion tenure.
Generally, cable TV service providers offer their bundles or triple play products for a tenure of 1-2 years at promotional prices. People these days don’t like to be stuck to the same package for a contractual period, especially when they find out about cheaper and better services elsewhere.
The excessive marketing and sales promotions have made it quite a difficult equation for consumers to stick to a triple play or quad-play plan for a year or two. However, the big players have a solution to this problem as well. They always keep in touch with their customers and address their concerns about pricing, quality of the services, and long-term contract-related concerns.
Contracts Length vs. Pricing: What’s the bigger problem?
As a matter of fact, people generally are happy with the length of the contracts if they find the best quality of cable TV services. It works as a cherry on the top, if the company is ready to go that extra mile to address the concerns of their customers through top-class customer service.
The truth of the matter is that the price differential, from the promotion period and the post-promotion, is where the real problem lies. When people keep spending around $100 for a triple play bundle (TV, Internet, Landline) over a period of a year or two years, they don’t like to pay extra for the same set of services after the culmination of the promotional period. This is one of the major reasons why people are least interested in renewing the contract. Instead of hiking the prices of their packages, cable TV providers can design further bundles for loyal customers which would not only make them feel special but also give them the right reason to stick to their provider.
Another reason why people are in love with cable TV triple play offers for a long time is the fact that they don’t want to interact with different providers for different services. For example, if they have cable TV service from one provider and internet service from another, they will have to keep in mind that they have to communicate with different companies to get their issues resolved. It makes the task a lot more difficult than it sounds. They prefer purchasing a set of services from the same provider which gives them the comfort to communicate with one company for all their service-related issues.
One Bill, One Payment
The companies, over the years, have spent millions on their triple play marketing campaigns. The idea was to convince consumers to sign up for the contracts that give them access to three services in a single contract. However, the term triple play is still known to the companies and consumers still don’t have a great idea about what it is about. People know triple play as “One Bill and One Payment” which has been the main ingredient of the marketing campaigns.
Triple Play: What Lies Ahead?
In order to understand what the future might look like for the triple play option, we have to take a look at the situation from three sides, i.e. providers, consumers, and triple play.
The Cable TV Providers
As far as cable TV providers are concerned, it is a jungle out there where only the rule of “survival of the fittest” applies. At the end of the day, it will all come down to the delivery of the service and the pricing. Providers will have to keep their system upgraded with the latest innovations and TV channels. Furthermore, the business model for triple play is a highly risky one because the competition is rising all the time. Pricing, demographics, competition, and positioning will eventually be the factors that will give one provider the advantage over there.
Especially when it comes to the arrival of the new players in the industry of cable TV providers, a lot will depend on the existing infrastructure. If the new player is allowed to benefit from the existing wireless broadband spectrum, it would reduce the overall cost for the triple play/quad-play consumers. Such an arrangement actually would make it a viable business proposition for the existing providers and the new entrants. In fact, the providers that correctly priced their triple-play packages witnessed immense growth across the US over the years.
As far as the future is concerned, the cut-the-cord movement has changed things drastically. People have the least interest in wireline service for economic, personal, and practical reasons. The trend will make it difficult for providers to offer a bundle discount across three products. It will also complicate the process of designing new pricing solutions that is catchy enough for consumers, especially the ones interested in cutting the cord.
People are generally unsatisfied with the value they got after spending big on triple-play bundles. For consumers, the top factors for picking a service remain the price and the quality of the service. Get everything in a package is still not among the top priorities for the American consumers. Providers keep these factors in mind while designing their marketing packages and you must have noticed pricing as the core aspect of the advertisements.
However, the marketing and advertising campaigns are so complex that consumers end up making a decision out of frustration. This is not an ideal situation for both consumers and providers. As far as the US consumers are concerned, they still prefer paying one bill rather than paying multiple bills for different services. If we also include the comfort of getting all the services from one service, the triple play packages become even more attractive for the consumers.
At the end of the day, what matters for consumers is the best quality of triple-play/quad-play service and the right but consistent pricing.
The Triple Play
The arrival of the latest technological wonders always poses new challenges to the cable TV providers in the US. The advancements in technologies related to wireless broadband have already turned triple play and quad-play into a must-have service for the new ISPs and telecom companies.
The Last Word
From both marketing and cost-effectiveness perspectives, triple play is a viable product for the cable TV providers as well as consumers. The quality of service matters at the end but people also consider pricing while choosing the right service. The US cable TV providers need to live up to the hype and expectations of their customers in terms of quality. The American consumers are always ready to pay extra bucks if the cable TV service offers the best quality.