SEOUL, July 13 (Korea Bizwire) — The subscription economy is emerging as a new growth engine for South Korea’s major mobile carriers, which are embracing post-telecommunications strategies.
This move reflects their desire to connect the benefits of the membership that they have long established with subscription services.
Among the nation’s big three telecom operators, SK Telecom Co. is a front-runner in this move. It is known to be preparing to launch a subscription service similar to Amazon Prime, a pay-based membership service run by U.S. retail giant Amazon.com Inc.
The company’s subscription service would enable users to selectively subscribe to various offers, including free delivery at its e-commerce unit 11st and access to video streaming platform Wavve, and is expected to be launched next month.
KT Corp. has already released its own subscription service in collaboration with coffee brand Hollys Coffee that is offered at about 580 stores across the country.
For 9,900 won (US$8.64) per month, users of subscription service gain access to KT’s video streaming service Seezn and four cups of Hollys Coffee drinks on a monthly basis.
In other words, they can use such services at a discounted price of up to 55 percent compared to the prices they have to pay when using them separately.
LG Uplus Corp. also introduced a subscription service for VIP-plus customers among its membership customers, providing benefits from its service partners, including those specialized in shopping, reading and convenience stores, on a monthly basis.
The market size of the nation’s subscription economy shot up to 40.1 trillion won (US$35.4 billion) last year, up more than 50 percent from 25.9 trillion won in 2016, according to the KT Economic and Management Research Institute, KT’s in-house think tank.
J. S. Shin (email@example.com)