After Times-Spotify Deal, The Sun Teams Up with Mobile Carrier to Get More Subscribers

By Minal Bopaiah

Quick on the heels of the subscriber acquisition deal Spotify made with The Times, The Sun announced plans to acquire more subscribers through UK mobile carrier O2.

Earlier last year, The Sun bought exclusive online streaming rights to Premier League soccer in the UK. Now, The Sun in planning to offer free subscriptions to O2 customers who upgrade to 4G.

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Specifically, subscriber who upgrade to £22 a month will get six months of free access to Sun+ (The Sun’s premium subscription package). For £27 a month, subscribers will get 12 months of free access and 8 gigabytes of data (versus the 5 gigabytes in the £22 package).

The deal is a smart move for The Sun, which has 47% of its digital subscribers signing up via mobile. And the deal is sure to increase retention for O2, the second-largest mobile carrier in the UK with 23 million customers.

These sorts of marketing deals between two subscription products are likely to gain traction in the coming year, either with lifestyle subscriptions teaming up with news sites, or news sites teaming up with broadband or mobile carriers. In fact, Netflix and Hulu are seeking deals with cable providers.

However, it remains to be seen how many subscribers acquired through such deals will renew once their free offer is up.