SYDNEY: Telstra is repositioning itself not just as a telecommunications services company but a content one as Australia media consumption habits change, according to senior executives at the company.

"We're thinking about experience, we're thinking about magic, we're thinking about lifestyle. We try and think about you making a lifestyle decision to join Telstra rather than just a planned decision, rather than just gigs and data and price," said Michele Garra, executive director at Telstra Media, at the Mumbrella Entertainment Marketing Summit. 

Beyond the brand, Garra said Telstra's mission is to connect its customers with their passions – and with the average number of connected devices in the Australian home set to push 30 by 2020, Telstra considers the move one that will position the company firmly for the future. (For more, read WARC’s exclusive report: How Telstra repositioned its brand with content consumption habits.)

"We know that a high proportion of Australians would like us to bundle entertainment and provide those services, so it's definitely an insight that we're working with," she said.

Australian consumers are still big free-to-air TV watchers with the average Australian watching around 70 hours of live broadcast television per month, and nine hours of catch-up TV, not to mention streaming services such as Netflix and Stan.

But they frequently find themselves frustrated with the integration of options: "They're exasperated because they can't find what they want to watch," Garra said.

With 65% of viewers suffering from this exasperation and 69% of those responding by simply switching off, Telstra used this insight to try and simplify the viewing experience: by launching a TV companion app that allowed viewers to search for the programs they wanted to watch, and save their preferences pulling data from right across free-to-air TV, subscription TV and streaming services.

"We have a very large customer base, it's very mass market, mainstream consumers. And we need to help those customers join the streaming era by providing a really simple solution,” Garra said.

Sourced from WARC