Vodafone gets data-happy with NOW TV and Spotify

Vodafone has announced three initiatives encouraging more data consumption by UK and Australian users. The telco is announcing free subscriptions to BSkyB’s movie streaming service NOW TV for users in the UK, and free Spotify Premium accounts for Australian customers.

Vodafone has stated that NOW TV is a free service to its 1.17 million LTE users in the UK, with a three month subscription to premium services Sky Movies and Sky Entertainment, as well as new customers taking out a contract or SIM-only tariff on Vodafone Red.

This could well be a bid to lure current 3G users to Vodafone 4G, instead of EE, which has experienced a surge in popularity. According to Ovum’s World Cellular Information Service (WCIS), EE now serves 5.015 million LTE users, with nearly 850,000 new users flocking to the mobile operator between June and September 2014. Cindy Rose, Vodafone’s Consumer Director, corroborates the sentiment.

“This is a fantastic addition to our content partnerships, giving our customers yet more great content they can watch on their devices, whenever they want to and wherever they are,” she said. “This focus on brilliant content is why over 250,000 new 4G customers joined us in September alone and we look forward to welcoming many more to our network over the next few months.”

While announcing the launch of the video streaming service, Vodafone also revisited its Data Test Drive service, and has widened its availability to include SIM-only customers. The service is, essentially, a three month bottomless pit of data consumption for consumers.

After selecting a tariff, consumers are given three months to use as much data as they would like or need, before having the opportunity to review their long-term tariff in light of their data usage. More cynically-minded people might suggest that introducing a free video streaming service while offering an all-you-can-eat pool of data is a means of tempting in customers and upselling them simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Australia has offered music streaming service Spotify Premium as a free perk to Vodafone Red customers, following the UK’s roll out of the offer.  It certainly appears as though Vodafone has taken stock of the service-hungry nature of mobile consumers, and its apparently data-happy approach could be a clever attempt at grabbing more of a market share in the UK.

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