Croatian operator Hrvatski Telekom has become the latest member of the Deutsche Telekom group to introduce a new mobile tariff with unlimited streaming for selected applications. Aimed at the youth market, the monthly plan comes with 3 GB of data, unlimited on-net calls, 400 minutes and 400 SMS to other networks, and rollover of any unused minutes, SMS and data to the next month. The main novelty is the unlimited use of YouTube, Netflix, HBO Go and Pickbox via the Stream On service, without consuming the data traffic included in the package. The new plan costs HRK 149.00 (US $21.67) per month.
While some countries restrict zero-rating because of concerns about net neutrality, in those markets where it is feasible, operators may offer free access to apps and services of their choice as a way to incentivize potential customers to subscribe as well as to promote habits of more intensive data use.
Hrvatski Telekom’s Stream On service is quite generous in its offerings—several premium and very popular music, video and movie apps that are bound to appeal to young customers. And as we have shown on a large number of occasions, the youth market is a key one for operators to target and cultivate with carefully tailored offerings. Providing youth with affordable plans is an excellent way to foster long-term brand loyalty and keep customers on board until the time when they are able to spend more. Furthermore, and most importantly, while revenue is arguably lost by zero-rating (which of course brings in “zero” revenue), it is likely to be made up and then some in the long run, when the customers are upsold to more expensive plans without zero-rating. We have seen that free access to selected streaming can cultivate larger appetites for data consumption, so promoting the use of data-hungry apps through these giveaways is a solid investment in the future.