Feeds

Telefonica recruits EA to lure punters with games, deals

O2 might be a bit-pipe, but Telefonica won't be

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Telefonica Digital, the service branch of O2's owner, has signed a content deal with Electronic Arts in the hope of cementing customer relationships with bundled deals.

The contract allows Telefonica Digital to create promotions based around EA games including The Sims, FIFA and Monopoly, with the stated intention of turning the brand into a purchasing destination for any mobile customer, rather than a portal for those on the O2 network.

Telefonica, which operates in the UK under the O2 brand, announced last September that it would be setting up a "digital" division to create and sell content, as opposed to network services. That division is already running VoIP service Jajah, which Telefonica acquired back in 2009, but deals like this one with EA will give it more control over content, and more freedom to create promotional packages.

UK customers, for example, will now get three months of free EA games with their first purchase, something which Telefonica hopes will attract more customers and get some feature phone owners downloading applications. While that's going on, Telefonica will be looking at the numbers with a view to offering more subscription-based gaming, and other packaged offerings.

“By making a differentiated play in this most emotive and immersive entertainment medium we are fostering a much deeper connection with our customers – another significant step in becoming a true aggregator of experiences," says the canned statement, and while the offering is for O2 customers today the plan is clearly to spread beyond that base.

All the network operators are struggling to avoid becoming mere "bit pipes", as the fixed ISPs have largely become, but strategies differ. Telefonica's decision to split its content services from the telco side is to be applauded, though it's not without precedent.

Those with long memories will recall when the content part of O2 – Genie – was based in Hammersmith, while the telco was in the wilds of Slough. Combining the two was culturally difficult; the sharp end of convergence, not to mention the unpopularity of Slough among the Hammersmith staff was immortalised in this video:

O2's Slough site is a lot nicer now, but not nice enough for the core of Telefonica Digital staff, some of whom do remember the Hammersmith days. They're busy moving to their shiny new Regent Street offices in the centre of London. Splitting out the content risks alienating the network staff, which is what happened last time, but content really is a different business which gains little by sharing an office. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.