UK quad play homes will treble by 2016

Slightly fewer than half of UK households today are “multiplay,” meaning that they take more than one entertainment or communication service from the same provider. A new report by analyst firm Strategy Analytics says that this number will grow to 67 per cent by 2016. While most bundles today are “double play,” comprising two services, “triple” and “quad play” bundles will become increasingly popular over the next five years.

By the end of 2011, an estimated 613,000 UK subscribers will take a “quad play” service— a bundled offering of fixed voice, broadband, television and mobile voice from the same provider—according to the report.

“Service Providers view the multiplay bundle as both a marketing vehicle and a churn mitigation tool,” said Ben Piper, Director of the Strategy Analytics Multiplay Market Dynamics service and author of the report. “And survey research we’ve just fielded in the UK shows that quad play does provide a measurable amount of ‘churn insulation,’ or ‘stickiness.’ Customers who subscribe to four services from the same provider are less inclined to defect.”

Second quarter results from UK Cable operator Virgin Media confirm these findings. Churn among its quad play subscribers is reported at 6 per cent, compared to 36 per cent for its standalone “single play” subscribers. Virgin has identified quad play upsell as a key growth area.