Bharti Airtel offers Airtel Movies, a subscription service that includes five channels, namely YouTube, Dailymotion, Sony LIV, HOOQ and Eros Now. For their live TV service, Bharti Airtel has partnered with dittoTV.
Over the past couple of years, cutthroat competition has seen the major telecom players repeatedly slash prices. Responding to Reliance Jio, the telecom majors have been bleeding themselves dry in intense data wars. Unlimited voice calling, an obscene amount of data and rollover announcements have all been used to protect and expand the customer base.
Price competition represents a losing battle for all companies, directly hitting their bottom lines. No wonder then that telecom majors are quick to highlight their value-added services, in a bid to differentiate themselves from competition. Telecom providers have announced tie-ups with media content providers to offer additional services, besides the core ones like voice, data and SMS. These value-added services, by way of premium content, not only help telecoms differentiate themselves, but also increase their revenue by increased user engagement.
Bharti Airtel offers Airtel Movies, a subscription service that includes five channels, namely YouTube, Dailymotion, Sony LIV, HOOQ and Eros Now. While the first two are free channels, the others are available at highly competitive subscription fees.
Earlier in August, Reliance Jio added 55 new channels to its live TV app, which is now known as JioTV. The service currently offers 368 live TV channels, including 52 high-definition channels. This content is exclusive for Jio users.
Responding to this, Bharti Airtel partnered with Zee Group’s dittoTV for the live TV part, which is known for its highly cost-effective subscription rates. The alliance is expected to drive digital consumption in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and smaller towns over the next few years.
In a latest move, Vodafone Play announced that it had signed an agreement with YuppTV to offer a package of live TV channels, movies, shows and much more to its customer base. Besides movies and shows, YuppTV’s regional content will allow Vodafone Play to enhance its offerings. This gives YuppTV the opportunity to tap into Vodafone’s large customer base with its over 250 live TV channels. These channels will air programmes in 14 national and regional languages.
Vodafone has also tied up with Netflix to offer its Vodafone Red customers a free one-year subscription of the internet television network. New postpaid customers who opt for the Red plans as well as existing customers can avail of subscriptions worth Rs.1,000, Rs.1,500 or Rs.6,000 depending on their plan. Netflix offers a variety of shows like Narcos, The Crown and House of Cards, besides films, documentaries and original stand-up series.
Such alliances between media content providers and telecom companies are likely to flourish in India. This is because of the rising trend of on-demand content, especially among the younger generation of users. Moreover, mobile phones offer much higher interactivity than televisions and India is making a fast transition to a mobile-driven economy.
This dual trend of small-screen viewing and rising popularity of on-demand content is also being capitalized on by India’s largest movie chain, PVR. The group has launched a movie-on-demand app named VKAAO, which allows one to choose from mainstream movies, both oldies and new ones, independent flicks and documentaries.