Foxtel has announced the launch of Foxtel First, a new loyalty program based on the principle that the longer a customer has been with Foxtel, the better their Foxtel First experience will be.
At a launch event inside the board room at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany noted in times of massive choice it is as crucial to keep existing customers as it is to attract new ones.
Presenting alongside the Foxtel boss yesterday were Alice Mascia, Foxtel chief product and strategy officer, and Lisa Johnstone, Foxtel director – loyalty.
As one of the first tenure-based loyalty programs in Australia, Foxtel First does not involve collecting points or spending more, it rewards loyalty based on four levels of continuous customer tenure:
Bronze (0-3 years)
Silver (3-8 years)
Gold (8-15 years)
Diamond (15+ years)
Each level automatically unlocks exclusive categories of benefits that get better the longer a customer has been with Foxtel. Rewards provide the opportunity to see some of Foxtel’s most popular content first, access to event tickets and competitions for money-can’t-buy experiences and enjoying the very best that Foxtel First has to offer. Current rewards, based on customer tenure, include:
Experiences – tickets for sports events and cinema, a Foxtel First welcome gift along with competitions for money can’t buy experiences. This includes thousands of free tickets to Australia’s most popular sporting events this summer including Cricket, A-League and the Australian Grand Prix. And prize draws for experiences that only Foxtel can deliver such as an exclusive meet and greet for a family with the stars of Paw Patrol at Sea World including flights and accommodation.
Viewing – exclusive on demand, advance access to some of Foxtel’s best drama, entertainment, movies, lifestyle and documentaries.
Product – more value from Foxtel with exclusive offers on services such as free multiroom set up and discounted iQ4 set up.
Service – the best service and overall experience from Foxtel with a free Foxtel iQ4 set up and priority customer service.
Delany said: “The launch of Foxtel First is about recognising our customers’ loyalty based on how long they have been with us. It delivers customers more value through experiences and benefits which only get better the longer they have been with us.
“We have sourced great rewards for our customers through our network of partners across sports, cinema, music and TV. We’ve also lined up our best technology and priority service for our most loyal customers to make sure they are experiencing the best of Foxtel.
“The great thing about Foxtel First is it’s free to join and this is only the beginning. Foxtel First will continue to grow with more benefits and more rewards to be added in the coming months.”
One of the rewards for Diamond customers is quality of service. “You shouldn’t have to wait in a queue,” Delany told Mediaweek about customers who ring the call centres. “There will be a special unit setup and when a Diamond level member rings in it will detect the caller and they will get put straight through.”
Delany likened it to the Chairman’s Club for privileged Qantas flyers. “But this is based on tenure, not how much the company pays the airline.”
There is also an obvious answer as to why Foxtel loyalty is not rewarded by price breaks: “The business objective for Foxtel is to keep the revenue up. We have had a tough time with that principally because of the repackaging that was done in 2014 with $25 and $50 customers. We have now moved the opposite way and added more and more value with $50 and $75 and $100 packages. There is huge value if you are platinum because that now includes Netflix.
“What we are doing with Foxtel First it to reward and acknowledge that.
“If a customer has been with us for 15 years somebody will call them and say ‘We have a new set top box, when can we come out and upgrade you? And when can we give you the new remote?’
“We are trying to maintain the revenues, but add far more value.”
iQ3 and iQ4 upgrades
Foxtel customers on iQ3 and iQ4 have this week been getting notices from the subscription TV platform telling about the upgrade that will give users the access to Netflix directly through the set top box.
“The new Foxtel packages now have Netflix at a price that is lower than Netflix retail,” said Delany. “For Platinum customers it is included. ABC iview and SBS On Demand are also included in our basic package.”
Netflix has been available for some time for many subscribers through the set top box, but Foxtel isn’t able to monitor the time spent on Netflix by those customers. “Netflix owns its customers and when they to into their app we lose that data reporting. We know when they have gone [from Foxtel], but we don’t know what they did.”
Delany isn’t too concerned about people using the Foxtel box to watch other TV platforms. “They are using our box which we want as we are putting everything in one place to make it easy.”
During his presentation Delany referred to the future launch of Foxtel apps. Later talking to Mediaweek he was reluctant to put any timeframe on it.
“We are working on stuff all the time. At the moment we want to bed in the ABC and SBS. They are not inconsiderable technology programs as they both have a huge amount of content.”
Kayo will remain a big focus for Foxtel across the summer, said Delany.
“The Kayo customer is very different to the Foxtel customer and they behave very differently and they watch different sports in different volumes and they come and go more which is the nature of streaming. What we are excited about is coming into the second cycle of Kayo because it launched in November last year. We know all the people who have come and gone from Kayo and we know exactly what they like and we can almost predict who is going to come back.
“The legend of Kayo builds as more people know about it and understand it.”
Top Photo: Patrick Delany at the launch of Foxtel First