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Will Comcast be influenced by Sky's maverick loyalty program?

The tradition in the pay-TV industry is for providers to grow by dangling short-term offers at new subscribers. Existing customers usually see their rates spiraling upward over the years. Last year, Sky TV in Europe turned a new direction and began promoting better benefits available the longer customers continue to subscribe. It's important to note that these benefits do NOT include rate guarantees nor rebates. Instead, Sky bonuses their customers with experiential benefits, including upgraded broadband and VIP customer service. 

Now that Comcast is planning to buy Sky, we have to wonder if this program could spread to Comcast's U.S. customers. For now, the program is focused on reducing churn, but one day we could see them telling new prospects: switch and you'll begin accruing benefits over the years. 

Marketing Week: Sky steers clear of 'bribery tactics' as it targets 4.5 million loyalty members, 2018-Jun-13 by Ellen Hammett

1.8 million people have already signed up to Sky’s 10-month-old loyalty programme – which rewards tenure rather than spend – which launched last summer following complaints from existing customers that newer ones were getting better deals.

It was also an attempt to reduce churn amid growing competition from the likes of BT and Netflix, as well as to encourage more people to download the mobile app, which is where Sky VIP sits and one of Sky’s core metrics.

The loyalty scheme now accounts for 33% of the weekly traffic to the app, while Sky claims churn is at its lowest level ever having entered a fifth consecutive quarter of decline. Figures for the second half of 2017 reveal the number of customers leaving Sky fell from 11.6% at the end of 2016 to 11.2%.

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