AT&T to expand media focus with new 'thanks' loyalty program

AT&T is teasing a new loyalty program that promises to reward customers with movie tickets, advance access to concert tickets and other goodies.

The nation's second-largest carrier said the program will thank subscribers with exclusive entertainment offerings such as two-for-one movie tickets on Tuesdays and pre-sale ticket offers from Live Nation, as well as special content for DirecTV subscribers on their TVs and phones.

The promotion, which appears to launch June 30th with the movie-ticket offering, is AT&T's latest effort to leverage the media industry as it expands the world of telecom. The carrier hopes to leverage its acquisition of DirecTV with the launch of a three-tiered, cross-platform video service later this year, and last summer it announced the formation of Otter Media, a $500 million joint venture to acquire and develop assets for OTT media services.

AT&T's "thanks" program follows last year's launch of Plenti, a loyalty rewards program AT&T offers in conjunction with major brands including ExxonMobil, Macy's, Nationwide Insurance, Rite Aid and Hulu, among others. The offering is powered by American Express.

And the launch of Plenti was preceded by Verizon's Smart Reward program, which launched in 2014 and gave subscribers the ability to accumulate points and use them for discounts on the purchase of various goods and services. Verizon's offering includes sweepstakes, auctions, daily deals, local deals and gift cards, among other perks.

AT&T's new program comes amid stiff competition in a U.S. mobile market where subscriber growth is plateauing. The operator lost 215,000 postpaid smartphone subscribers during the first quarter of 2016, although it reported a notable year-over-year increase in consumer wireless margins.

It's unclear just how successful such loyalty programs have been for mobile operators over the last year, but as customer growth slows we may be in store for more of them.

For more:
- see this AT&T press release
- check this AT&T thanks web page

Related articles:
AT&T launches 'Plenti' rewards program with American Express, ExxonMobil, Macy's and other partners
Verizon takes Smart Rewards customer loyalty program nationwide
AT&T loses 215K postpaid smartphone subs, but wireless margins grow
AT&T announces three DirecTV-branded video services for all devices, will launch in Q4