A major upgrade to the Swisscom blue TV experience includes a new STB, full-flavour Android TV universe, Disney+ onboarding, a hard bundle that combines Disney+, Paramount+, Sky Cinema and blue Max, and a consumer console to manage streaming subscriptions.
The new TV-Box 5 arrives next week with a promise to consumers that it offers a whole world of entertainment and “brings together what belongs together”
The consumer streaming subscription management is an early example of how service providers can add value for their customers in a world of super-aggregation and ‘beyond-video’ entertainment provision. Swisscom customers are given an overview of all the streaming services they subscribe to, plus notification on attractive deals. Services can be added or removed with just a few clicks.
All streaming services are charged on the Swisscom bill, making Swisscom one of the first Pay TV/telco operators anywhere to combine service provider billing with full subscription management via its UX.
Disney+ is a new streaming partner, and Swisscom has used its introduction to create a discounted hard bundle of four compelling offers: Disney+, Paramount+, Sky Cinema and blue Max. The CHF 24.90 per month price represents a saving of more than 35% compared to the individual prices for these services. This exclusive package is called blue Max.
“With so many tempting streaming offers available, many customers will want to combine the different services. Now they can,” the Swiss provider explains.
The new blue TV box is based on Android TV and integrates the entire Google world. If they choose to sign in with a Google account, customers get full access to all Android TV services. Google Play Store offers thousands of Smart TV apps, from streaming, social media, gaming, news and fitness to education. Googe Assistant is included.
“The big screen can now do almost as much as the smartphone, and can be personalised with your own favourite apps,” Swisscom is telling consumers. “The box can thus be used as a fitness coach, music player or even a game console. You can now also pair headphones via Bluetooth and easily transfer music, videos and pictures over WLAN with Chromecast built-in.”
The set-top box box is half the size of its predecessor, is 35% more energy efficient, and consists of almost two-thirds recycled plastic. There is zero plastic in the packaging.
Disney+ pricing for Swisscom customers taking the onboarded service is: CHF 7.90 per month for the brand new ‘Standard with advertising’ model for Switzerland; CHF 12.90 for the standard ad-free tier; CHF 17.90 with Ultra HD streaming in 4K and HDR along with four simultaneous streams. (Exchange rates today are CHF 1 = US$ 1.11 / €1.05).
Swisscom has combined some of the key value-adds that Pay TV can offer consumers in a world where content exclusivity has become harder to achieve (because of the launch of direct-to-consumer studio apps, which put an end to the days when leading studio content was locked behind Pay TV operator walls).
Super-aggregation is the first and obvious one. Hard bundling is another step forward, using scale (and considerable marketing power into super-fan TV homes) to underpin bundles with discounts. The discount here – 35% – is substantial and compelling.
The introduction of consumer subscriptions management via the Pay TV UX is the icing on the cake and could become more important, given the proliferation of subscription entertainment (and potentially lifestyle) streaming services everywhere. Swisscom already takes care of the billing across different apps.
Super-aggregation, super-bundling, super-billing. That is a powerful combination. Pay TV providers need to be the go-to content discovery agent too – the company we trust most to surface the content we love or will love. Add in a great UX, and exclusive content if you can get it. Bang – that is the Pay TV raison d’etre for the 2020s.