With increased smartphone and broadband penetration, several opportunities have opened up for telecommunication and direct-to-home (DTH) operators to diversify into multiple services. As a result, they are also joining the OTT bandwagon and stepping out of their core business through syndicated offerings. And the lines are blurring. Whether it’s an alliance between Hotstar and Reliance Jio to bundle premium content for Jio Play subscribers; Videocon d2h launching a Smart Connect HD STB (set top box) integrated with Netflix, Zomato, BookMyShow, etc; or Airtel Digital TV launching an integrated Android STB — everyone is trying to capitalise on content consumption for additional revenues. DTH operators now allow streaming from OTT services directly on a TV screen too.
A Videocon d2h spokesperson says, “Our subscriber base and vast reach gives us insights into the viewer consumption habits to acquire better content, thus making OTT platforms like Netflix collaborate with us. We own the house and our last mile connect is giving these platforms the best bang for the buck.” The integration not only provides diversified offerings to consumers but also offers a potential uptick in the ARPUs.
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A Frost & Sullivan white paper mentions that with high costs of development of 4G and fibre broadband, telcos are trying to monetise data by all means. Vodafone is strengthening Vodafone Play by tying up with Eros, ALT Balaji and Hungama. MSOs are also looking at going with the flow. Hathway Cable & Datacom have plans to roll out its OTT offering soon, while DEN Networks has already launched Den TV+.