Cord-Cutting, Voice Recognition Will Disrupt Telecom In 2016

The disruption for telecommunications companies, their underlying business models, and their consumer communications will continue through 2016. 

Market research firm Mintel Comperemedia has identified three key areas that will affect the ways consumers use telecommunications services this year -- and in turn, how that will affect the ways those companies relate to their customers. 

The first trend, “Content Overload,” centers on consumers’ ability and desire to have the content they desire when and where they want it. As more streaming options become available (and more streaming is done in places other than the home), providers may want to improve their content discovery platforms, making them more consumer-friendly. 



“So many new sources of content can become overwhelming, and consumers are going to need help curating it,” Emily Groch, director of insights for telecommunications at Mintel Comperemedia, tells Marketing Daily. “A lot of brands are going to have to think about how they’re organizing their content.”

The next trend, “On My Command,” explores the role that voice recognition and control will play in the rollout of new services. Companies such as Comcast and Apple have added voice recognition capabilities to their TV platforms, allowing consumers to “cut through the clutter and save time,” according to the report. It’s likely more companies will begin adding this feature — as well as perhaps adding to it with voice recognition log-ins — to more of their offerings, Groch says. 

Finally, the third disruptor for the sector in 2016 will be the increase of “leased” phones and devices, in which consumers pay a monthly fee for the latest device (with the ability to upgrade sooner), rather than choosing to buy them outright. The trend away from ownership will likely drive consumers to look for plans with the lowest monthly installments, forcing marketers to keep pricing top of mind as they develop campaigns. However, a counter-trend may also develop, in which consumers purchase their phones outright and then shop for the best carrier plan, Groch notes.

“The network [value] is going to be more and more imprint in how carriers make a case to consumers,” Groch says.

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