AT&T has decided to launch a new rewards program that promises to give the wireless carrier’s subscribers various goodies, including movie passes, advanced booking perks to concerts, and other cool stuff. With its AT&T Thanks program, the second biggest mobile service provider in the United States will specifically gift its customers with exclusive entertainment rewards, like two for one movie tickets on Tuesdays, access to pre-sale ticket offers to concert events courtesy of Live Nation, plus the chance to enjoy premium content from DirecTV (especially for those who have DirecTV subscriptions for their TVs and mobile devices).
The AT&T Thanks program is the latest offering from the major US wireless carrier that aims to help it gain leverage in the media industry. AT&T clearly wants to expand beyond its core telecommunications business and venture to other lucrative opportunities, of which media is one. Indeed, buoyed by its acquisition of DirecTV in July of last year, the carrier introduced three new video services early this year, which should launch some time during the fourth quarter of 2016. Moreover, some may remember that last summer, AT&T also revealed that it had established Otter Media, a joint venture worth an estimated $500 million, which should allow the carrier to acquire and develop assets for over the top (OTT) media services.
As far as loyalty programs go, the AT&T Thanks program follows Plenti, the loyalty rewards program that the wireless carrier started in 2015. Powered by American Express, the Plenti program was offered in collaboration with other familiar brands that include ExxonMobil, Macy’s, Nationwide Insurance, Rite Aid, and Hulu, just to name a few.
Of course, AT&T is not the only major wireless carrier in America offering rewards programs. As a matter of fact a couple of years ago, industry leader Verizon Wireless launched its Smart Reward program, which allowed subscribers of the Big Red to collect points and then use them to enjoy discounts when buying goods or availing of services. Verizon Wireless’ Smart Reward program includes sweepstakes, auctions, daily special offers, local promos, and gift cards.
With competition fierce, especially among the Big Four (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), players often have to continuously step up their game. For AT&T, gaining and retaining customers is as important as ever, especially considering that during the first three months of this year, the carrier lost 215,000 postpaid smartphone subscribers.
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