SK Telecom gets into subscription business
SK Telecom will start a new monthly subscription business dubbed "T Universe" that offers customers discounts and benefits at Amazon and e-commerce platform 11st starting Aug. 31, the company said in a press conference Wednesday.
Through "T Universe," SK Telecom will offer subscribers benefits at Amazon, 11st, delivery app Baedal Minjok, bakery franchise Paris Baguette and more, with a monthly price of less than 10,000 won ($8.57).
Two subscription plans will be offered: a 4,900 won “Mini Universe Pass” and a 9,900 won “All Universe Pass.
Both plans will include 3,000 won worth of points that can be used as cash at e-commerce platform 11st and a 10,000 won discount coupon for Amazon. Subscribers will also be able to order all Amazon products free of shipping charges.
The “All Universe Pass” comes with an 8,000 won credit for delivery app Baedal Minjok, or Baemin, a 30 percent credit for bakery franchise Paris Baguette. For the “Mini Universe Pass," customers can either choose to join SK Telecom’s online video platform Wavve or use 100 gigabytes of Google One cloud service.
Anyone can join, even if they are customers of other phone companies.
“The subscription market is getting bigger by the day, and it’s expected to reach 100 trillion won in Korea,” said Yoon Jae-woong, vice president and head of subscription service marketing. “SK Telecom has jumped into this business seeing that millennial and Generation Z consumers, who are open to the idea of subscriptions, are growing as the major consumer demographic.”
SK Telecom says it expects losses in the early stage of the business as it works on revenue from such sources as advertisements. The company will also be able to use subscribers' consumption patterns in its artificial intelligence businesses.
“We aim to venture outside of our telecom business and find new opportunities for growth,” Yoon said. “We aim to reach 36 million users and 8 trillion won in gross merchandise volume by 2025.”
Wednesday's press conference also introduced the launch of the Amazon Global Store in Korea on Aug. 31. Different from the other 12 other countries that the Amazon Global Store services, it will not operate through a separate app but through the 11st app. From Tuesday, customers will be able to use Amazon’s global sales service on the 11st app without having to sign up with Amazon. Payments can also be made in Korean won.
BY YOON SO-YEON [email@example.com]