Portugal Telecom Gives Customers Content Control

By allowing customers to create and broadcast their own TV channels, Portugal Telecom fosters engagement and brand loyalty through its innovative entertainment platform, which subscribers can't find anywhere else.
Customer Experience
Gold: Innovation

Business Boost: Since its launch in 2012, MEO Kanal has grown to more than 40,000 user-created channels, generating more than 75,000 hours of content and occupying nearly half of the average customer's daily content consumption.

Though television may traditionally be considered one-sided, technology continues to alter our perceptions of even the most common mediums. For Portugal Telecom (PT) customers, television has become the brand's primary differentiator, as the introduction of MEO Kanal, its personalized broadcast platform, allows clients to build and broadcast their own TV channel, which they can easily share with friends and family, or all MEO customers.

"Breaking through technological barriers, with support from the MEO infrastructure of PT's television, each client can now have his or her own TV channel-a capability that, until now, was only accessible to large corporate producers and distributors," says Celso Martinho, director of technology. "The thinking behind the development of this service was to give a TV channel to each customer and bring them a new way of TV viewing."

During the development and design process, the PT team focused on the consumer's need for simplicity, thereby basing its approach upon client expectations. Thus, after countless focus groups and several internal beta versions in collaboration with SAPO, MEO Kanal launched in February 2012, with the intent to boost customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty. By putting content creation in the clients' hands, PT sought to reinvent the television experience while creating brand awareness. To increase word-of-mouth, PT even encouraged employees throughout the organization to use the service and share their channels with family and friends by launching an internal challenge that urged the staff to record unforgettable moments during their summer vacations. The best channels were then rewarded based upon the total number of views and overall creativity.

PT also created numerous demo channels, featuring high quality videos from popular sportsmen, comedians, and musicians, to demonstrate the appeal of this innovation, along with the quality and attractiveness of the service. These demos served as inspiration for thousands of new public channels from local musicians, entertainers, and sports teams looking to highlight their talents, as well as local TV channels and newspapers looking to migrate to video. Even churches and political candidates have embraced MEO Kanal, for they recognize that having this direct channel allows them to reach new audiences that were previously inaccessible.

However, roughly half of all MEO Kanal channels are private, as families and friends can share videos and photos with one another. Creators need only establish their PINs to maintain security and ensure their content remains private. Corporate clients that choose to use the platform as a commercial vehicle, on the other hand, have access to premium features via MEO Kanal's paid version. Enabling clients to share such content quickly and easily with whomever they choose augments the TV viewing experience, while also incorporating some social flavor.

"This service has changed the way the television is used and this is one of its major breakthroughs," Martinho adds. "MEO Kanal is the closest thing we have to social media on TV, but keeping the experience of standard TV channel visualization."

The development and project management teams continuously work together, enabling their motivated workforce to maintain the service's high quality standard, while managing the brand's roadmap, resource allocation, and customer care process. By using daily and weekly dashboards, the management team remains up to date on audience trends, the number of channels created and hours of video uploaded, the number of unique viewers, churn rate, and all other relevant KPIs. New features, such as the clients' desire to broadcast live events, are often the result of both customer suggestion and constant analysis of service usage, for the company's roadmap revolves around what PT's growing audience and channel creators value most. Big Data analysis also allows PT to deliver customized content to customers based on the millions of interactions collected, processed, and analyzed, as the company works to align its offerings with clients' interests.

Overall, those clients who post their content on the MEO Kanal platform are more loyal than regular customers of the MEO IPTV service standalone, which supports PT's ultimate goal to boost both loyalty and retention. PT's MEO Kanal channel creators and viewers have a lower churn rate (-2 percent) than MEO clients who have never used the service, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and engagement. Client behavior upholds this trend, for the daily time spent using PT's TV app averages 2 hours 25 minutes-almost half the time an average person spends watching TV in Portugal. Upon MEO Kanal's first anniversary, PT also dispersed a customer satisfaction survey to approximate Net Promoter Score results, culminating in an average 4.5/5. Today, MEO Kanal boasts more than 40,000 channels and 75,000 hours of content, and continues to grow daily.