COMMENT:

2degrees has put a new offer on the table. Sign up for one of its unlimited data broadband plans ($85/month or $75 if your contract mobile is with them too) and you'll get Amazon Prime Video (ordinarily priced at US$2.99 per month for the first six months then US$5.99/month) free for a year.

My first question for the company's consumer boss Scott Taylor: will existing customers qualify for the offer?

I asked because this question is always the first question I field about an ISP or pay-TV promo, be it a Netflix offer from Spark or Vodafone, or the latest deal from Sky TV. The answer is almost always "no", with a murky qualifier that there might be some wiggle-room for make-goods for angry existing customers.

Advertisement

Loyal customers always get wound up. Why do only those who swing around or threaten to leave get the best perks, they ask?

Anyhow, Taylor said the offer was only for new customers.

Existing customers could qualify at the end of their 12-month plan, if they renewed.

Wouldn't that seem a bit rough, especially if you signed on to 2degrees unlimited broadband last month.

Taylor then said that if existing customers asked, they would get the deal.

Going how far back?

As long as they joined before the start of the year, though he hinted there might be some wiggle room.

My 2 cents: Let all your customers in on a deal. If you're not, be transparent about it. And don't make existing customers hunt for details.

Advertisement

Sure there's a cost, but there's obvious room for negotiation given it costs Amazon Prime Video nothing to deliver a trial sub. The service has stuff-all profile in NZ, and the chance to convert tens of thousands of trial customers is worth a lot.

Not to pick on 2degrees. Most companies are guilty of the same thing.

But back to the offer.

Taylor called 2degrees broadband and Amazon Prime Video "the two best-kept secrets in New Zealand."

And he says his company's offer comes just as New Zealanders' are, in his words, tiring of Netflix.

Amazon Prime Video has less on offer than Netflix, but it still has a decent library of 400 TV series and around 4000 movies. And, like Netflix and Hulu, it has a well-funded effort to produce original series.

Prime Video's highest profile show, The Grand Tour (starring Top Gear exiles Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond) has fallen a bit flat - possibly because it has a seemingly unlimited budget and its heroes have free rein. They were much more fun when they were trying to annoy their producers at the BBC.

An adaption of Neil Gaiman's Amerian Gods comes over as 70s soft porn.

And the at one point much-hyped doco New Zealand All Blacks: All or Nothing, made by a Kiwi production crew, is reverential to the point of dullness.

Still, there's a lot of content there, and Prime Video is definitely worth checking out if you haven't already had a graze. A lot of content is included in a Prime Video monthly sub, but some new release movies are pay-per-view on top of that and some of Prime Video's "channels" like HBO and Showtime require separate a paid subscription to those apps, and a lot of the channel content is geo-blocked to Kiwis.

Like other services, Amazon Prime offers a 30-day free trial.

Last quarter, 2degrees' said it had 78,000 broadband customers. It has not raised prices since it entered the broadband market in 2016 through buying Snap - and earlier this week it pledged no price rises this year, either.

That was a dig at the larger Spark (around 700,000 broadband customers), Vodafone (around 410,000) and Orcon and Slingshot owner Vocus (around 200,000), all of whom have raised prices over the past few months, pinning the plan on Chorus increases to wholesale pricing.