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DTH Service Needs OTT Upgrade for More Paying Subscribers

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In Short:

Direct-to-Home (DTH) business in India is declining as more people are switching to OTT platforms for entertainment. TRAI data shows a 2.02% drop in DTH pay subscribers in the June 2023 quarter. To attract more customers, DTH operators like Tata Play Binge, Airtel Xstream, and Dish TV Watcho need to promote their OTT platforms as value-added services. Bundling OTT platforms with DTH connections may help increase subscriber numbers.

The Decline of DTH Business in India

dth needs an ott refresh to add

The Direct-to-Home (DTH) business in India is facing a slowdown, with a decrease in paying subscribers. According to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) data, the pay subscriber base of DTH operators in the country declined by 2.02% in the June 2023 quarter, from 65.50 million to 64.18 million.

The Rise of OTT Platforms

This decline can be attributed to the increasing adoption of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms by consumers for their entertainment needs. General entertainment channels are now offering their content on OTT platforms in addition to TV, providing users with a wide range of content accessible on various devices.

The Need for DTH Refresh

To attract more subscribers, DTH players need to revamp their business model by incorporating OTT as a value-added or complimentary service. Tata Play Binge, Airtel Xstream, and Dish TV Watcho are OTT platforms offered by DTH companies, but these platforms are not being promoted as aggressively as the primary service in order to prioritize STB sales.

DTH companies must communicate to consumers that their OTT platforms offer high-quality content comparable to traditional DTH services. Platforms like Tata Play Binge and Airtel Xstream provide access to a variety of content on multiple devices with a single subscription, enhancing the entertainment experience.

Future Strategies for DTH

One strategy for DTH companies could be bundling OTT platforms at no additional cost with basic channel packs to incentivize more DTH connections. Standalone subscriptions to these platforms can also boost subscriber numbers and overall revenues for DTH operators.

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