As the pioneer in the industry of cross-media interactive services, Astro has the highest market share in multi-channel subscription televisions. (Marketing Plan for ASTRO) Its brand name is well built and rapport with the customers remain almost impenetrable as shown in the survey result as most of the respondents have Astro back home as the parents are the subscribers. In spite of the other new entrants which attempt match up the competition by offering similar services, Astro managed to monopolize the market with the exclusive license of Pay TV. Besides, the steady financial growth indicates continuous demand for the services throughout the years.
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The existing customers are not only highly satisfied with how they are well taken care by a dedicated customer relationship management department, the wide range of local and foreign TV channels also heightened the level of satisfaction. Such diversity of channels continues as the motivation for subscription. Astro has also initiated revolution Malaysians daily entertainment, as it is the less “controlled” alternative media providers for most and the customers are willing to pay to be spoilt with choices. In recent years, focus is placed upon the production in movies and miniseries and some of them are cross-nation collaboration. Astro prides itself as the leading content creator who always push the limits to please the increasing demand from audience.
It is reported that the churn rate has risen in recent years although there is growth presented in the same period. (Marketing Plan for ASTRO) One of the reasons was the illicit access to Astro transmission signals granted by the replicated smart cards and set-top boxes, showing the lack of stringent preventive security measure to protect data, leading to the loss of confidence. Customers are taken aback by low perceived value specials such as Astro on Demand. It was a rather weak offering with little product differentiation as the content in the channel would eventually be available on other channels.
Astro also struggles to keep continuous subscription for certain packages such as animation. The transition of new billing system (from physical bill to electronic bill) was unexpectedly difficult as it was one of the first few companies that adopted such change. The implementation was problematics and full of technical hiccups. This was causing an upsurge of complaints as customers are uncomfortable and unhappy with the inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The customer service agents were unable to handle such a high volume of complaints within short span of time. It results in deteriorated quality in customer care.
Strong brand portfolio of Astro has acted as one of the competitive advantages for the company and it is helpful in strategic positioning. This opens doors for the Malaysian media giant to grow across the world. For instance, the strategic joint venture with Turner Asia Pacific allows Warner TV and co-production, distribution of Asian content to accelerate in global reach. (Astro and Turner form strategic joint venture, 2017) Collaboration with different corporations such as Twitter and Maxis to increase exposure and value for customers. The partnership with Maxis has facilitated the delivery of services such as Astro On-The-Go and Astro B.yond IPTV, which simply broaden the area of availability for the customers. (Astro and Maxis sign strategic partnership, 2012)
The launch of Measat 3b accompanied with a tailor-made system to improve the transmission during rain attenuation, is going to be one of the appealing, reassuring element to encourage more subscriptions. It is also notable that Astro has the full broadcast rights on global events such as the recent World Cup matches which signifying the potential of making a higher advertising revenue. The new billing system is cost-saving and more environmental friendly, as it reduces fees to be incurred for collection and indirectly lessen the carbon footprint from usage of paper printed. Stable free cash flow has enabled the ability to invest in adjacent possible. This has gained Astro an opportunity to expand into other product categories or enter a new emerging market.
The exclusivity as the sole Pay TV provider by the federal government has ended in 2017, in other words Astro is not maintaining the same amount of market share as other players are now permitted to start their own satellite based Pay TV services. In addition, there is an increasing preference favoring online platforms than cable TV due to the flexibility and.
The increasing buying power of millennials with traditional values is noteworthy. However, as stated in the survey result, most youngsters now spend lesser time on traditional television and they do not see Astro as a necessity with so other options available online. Customer loyalty would be even more challenging to be cultivated as too many choices are available for them to choose from. Aside from being a multi-cultural nation, Malaysia has a multi-ethnic, multilingual market which requires various offers to suffice the interest of different groups. On top of that, the expensive cost of TV advertisement is ridiculously disproportionate, with the declining viewership of TV.
Reportedly, Ku-band signals can still be affected by rain attenuation despite the enhancement to improve transmission during heavy rainfalls. This might lead to more frustrated and discouraged customers. Nonetheless, the imitation of smart cards and set-top boxes remains a big unresolved security issue for Astro.