It has been some weeks ago when local telco Globe decided to pull the plug on its ongoing Free Facebook mobile service. First launched late last year, the company extended free Facebook subscription thrice after it initially ended – only to finally discontinue it last April 25, 2014. Since then, a portion of subscribers would like to have Globe bring the feature back. After all, it’s still a free service after all. However, Globe has decided against it. Instead, Globe now offers a different package. Here is how they went about it.
Current Research Shows More Smartphones With No Mobile Data Usage
While the Philippines has a growing number of smartphone users, most of them are not browsing the Internet over mobile data. Most of them would rather browse the Internet via WiFi services. Access to WiFi is sometimes limited to a Filipino home, or WiFi-enabled buses, coffee shops, and other select areas. In most circumstances, Filipinos would refrain from relying on mobile data because:
- It uses prepaid credits
- The acquired Internet speed is slow
- It is rather expensive
Creating a Need | Attacking the Market with Facebook
Globe did some research and found the things above to be true for Filipinos, which was precisely the reason they introduced the Free Facebook subscription last year. Unlike rival Sun Cellular’s text-only Facebook offer, Globe brings the entire Facebook experience for free – from posting status, to uploading and viewing pictures. It was almost a perfect gift to a country whose citizens simply do not want to pay additional expenses on top of their mobile load credits.
However, this free Facebook was not meant to last. More specifically, Globe never intended for this promo to be a permanent offer.
The Next Phase – Get Subscribers to Pay
Now that they have introduced to Filipinos that mobile Internet does work through Facebook, the next phase is to get these subscribers to pay for the service. Of course, now that the telco users have experienced accessing Facebook without paying, Globe must bundle something in order to get their mobile Internet service to be more desirable. Therefore, they announced a bombshell content partner – Spotify.
Free Music with Spotify
How many smartphone owners in the Philippines use iPhones and high-end Android phones anyway? The top phone manufacturers in the Philippines include Nokia, Samsung, and local manufacturers like MyPhone and Cherry Mobile. These 2 latter companies are strong at the mid-range smartphone market. This means that probably most smartphone users are on the basic and mid-range price tier – where they get the smartphone experience but with a few key drawbacks.
For example, they might have a Jelly Bean phone, but only has 512 ram or 1 GB of memory. For a music lover such as myself, would I waste putting MP3 files on my phone and use up precious storage space, which I can use for purchasing and downloading other apps from the Play Store? That is where Spotify can thrive. Globe then made the right choice to tie its mobile Internet service with Spotify.
To be honest, the mobile data plan comes second to me, the free Spotify on-the-go is what makes the product much more appealing to a smartphone owner – who normally has access to the Internet on his or her office or home. Of course, the other bonus factor in this offer is that you can now access Facebook again. It is not free anymore, but you can do other things with the money you paid for – Internet and Spotify. Thus, I believe it is justified.