UAE operator Etisalat has announced an offer of six months’ worth of Apple Music free of charge for its postpaid customers. The promotion is accessible via iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac computers, as well as via Android devices and PCs. Etisalat’s postpaid plans (New postpaid, Smart and Emirati) offer options for flexible and local minutes starting at AED 150.00 (US $40.83) with data allowances up to 200 GB. New customers can access the offer after subscribing to a new postpaid contract.
Apple Music offers a catalogue of tens of millions of songs, plus the iTunes library, which customers can stream or download for offline listening, all free of ads. Subscribers can create their own playlists or use those curated by Apple Music, as well as sharing music with friends. In addition, they can receive daily recommendations, listen to radio stations from every genre and watch exclusive music videos.
As we have written previously, partnerships with entertainment content providers have proved to be very beneficial for MNOs, insofar as they can bring value-added features to subscribers that not only increase satisfaction and loyalty levels but also stimulate data consumption. They can also aid in brand enhancement.
Apple is a very attractive, high-end global brand, and an alliance with this brand has also been very positive for operators in terms of device sales and usage. Apple made a savvy move by opening access to its widely popular Apple Music streaming service to users of non-Apple devices (Android smart devices and PCs). By partnering with Apple to bring Apple Music to postpaid subscribers, Etisalat is introducing a larger number of users to Apple, some of whom may eventually upgrade to the relatively expensive Apple devices, which would be good for both partners in terms of device revenue.
As far as data usage stimulation is concerned, offering six months’ worth of free access to Apple Music will likely have the effect of creating an attachment to the content, which will translate into paid service after the end of the promotional period. And offering it to postpaid subscribers makes good sense for Etisalat and for Apple, in that Apple Music and Apple devices are on the high end of the market, so that after the promotion ends, higher-end subscribers will be the most likely to continue with the service on a paid basis, and also likelier to buy Apple devices eventually.