Authored by Pavan R Chawla
Indians are increasingly travelling the world and becoming exposed to a diverse bouquet of consumption options. In the good old times, the entire family would travel to the nearby Iranian eatery to have their breakfast. However, most customers, today, increasingly demand customised and varied options that cannot be fulfilled by a single vendor.
For example, Perizaad Thanawala – a 19 year-old college student — may relish her favourite Kheema Pav at the nearby Iranian eatery and thereafter travel to the Udupi restaurant down the road for her rejuvenating cup of favourite filter kaapi. This trend is increasingly being witnessed across the various product and service categories but most acutely felt in the entertainment space.
Dynamics across the entertainment consumption market have seen rapid changes after being influenced by increased content consumption on-the-go through smartphone and other mobility-enabled devices. Additionally, the barriers of costs have been broken down with data tariffs crashing to their lowest levels. With customer likes and preferences changing due to exposure to a rapidly changing lifestyle and increasing income levels – ‘the one size fits all’ approach is becoming irrelevant.
By recognizing the viewing needs of various subscribers, DTH operators need to develop the right content offering to ensure their subscribers are satisfied. One way to prop up revenues and retaining subscribers is by tapping into their love of ‘video-on-demand’ (VoD). These ‘content connoisseurs’ are young, wealthy and love TV and movies. They love the quality of DTH content offerings but they appreciate the convenience VoD offers to them.
Increasingly, we will see more operators, DTH and OTT, invest in original productions and offerings to differentiate their services from other VoD platforms. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, which recently entered the Indian market, are producing a diverse array of original content for their platforms.
DTH operators like Tata Sky have recognized the challenge posed by new OTT platforms and have started beefing up their content catalogue. They have recently refreshed their mobile app ‘Tata Sky Mobile’ to a modern interface which connects with younger audiences and provides a large catalogue of VoD. Tata Sky Mobile allows subscribers to consume their favourite content on the go and is the only app by a DTH operator in ‘Top 10 OTT’ apps based on recent findings by App Annie.
There is an opportunity for operators to build a next-generation bundle and platform for subscribers so they don’t have to do the hard work themselves. The operators have to be able to reach consumers on every screen and device, whether on the home network or on mobile and Wi-Fi outside, will maximize engagement along with traditional viewing methods. More viewing hours leads to happier and more engaged consumers, which in turn ensures that operators retain subscribers on their platforms. The way to deliver them is by serving up just the right content on the right device at the right time of day. It’s the era of multiple primetimes.
I believe it is important for content platforms to offer unique entertainment content. This will enable them to cater to customers who prefer to opt for more than one service provider to fulfil their need for differentiating content.
Pavan R Chawla is a Media & Entertainment expert who, across Communication and Content roles, has been associated with several leading brands like Sony Entertainment Television, MAX, B4U, Sahara One, INX Media, IMPACT, The Independent and Metropolis on Saturday, among others. He can be reached on [email protected]