DTH operators battle to woo mobile TV viewers

Dec 29 2013, 03:44 IST
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SummaryAfter successfully managing to secure over 60 million DTH subscribers among them over past seven years...

After successfully managing to secure over 60 million DTH subscribers among them over past seven years, now the half a dozen direct-to-home operators are locked in a bitter battle to capture the attention of their customers on their mobile phones and tablets.

Sample this: Around 1 million DTH subscribers are already logging on to their smartphones and tablets to watch the DTH feed. The six private DTH companies — Tata Sky, Dish TV, Airtel Digital TV, Sun Direct, Videocon D2H and Reliance Digital — have either launched applications for smartphones and tablets or are on the verge of doing so to engage and interact with not only their own subscriber base but also with new smartphone and tablet users.

The reasons for the hurry to capture consumers across multiple screens — television, laptops, smartphones and tablets — are two-fold, say DTH operators. One, to open up an add-on revenue stream as all such applications come with a monthly subscription fees; and second, to reach out to a mass base of users of these smart devices so as to earn from targeted mobile advertising.

Various industry reports suggest that the number of smartphones in India is expected to cross the 100-million mark before the end of the current financial year. Airtel, which also operates its DTH service under the Digital TV brand name, has been operating a separate Mobile TV application which allows its subscribers to watch live and recorded shows anytime on the go.

“Around 30 million of the DTH subscriber base uses either smartphones, computers or tablets with high-speed Internet connections. Many are located in metros and the top 20 cities and these are the new subscribers who will not mind shelling out R50-150 to access live television or popular shows on their devices. Therefore, we are seeing a race between DTH operators to tap into this new revenue stream,” said a senior analyst who tracks media companies.

Dish TV claims to be the first one to launch the application to watch TV “Anywhere Anytime” on smartphones (on Android and iOS platforms).

Dish TV launched ‘DishOnline’ App on October 3 and, since its launch, the total downloads of this app have crossed 2.5 lakh.

According to Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer, Dish TV India, this trend in India is in line with the global market where device shift for TV content consumption is clearly visible from one TV to multi-screen TV/ Tablets/

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