Bharti Airtel has launched a new service called Pocket TV that will allow its digital TV subscribers watch live content from over 150 channels for a monthly fee of Rs 60.
Update: The service seems to be powered by Digivive and is currently available on Android, with an iOS version expected soon.
Earlier: Apart from offering live TV, the service will also let you watch earlier episodes on more than 13 channels, filter channels and videos by genre, go through a programing guide, and set favourite channels for easy access. The app also has a recommendation zone that lists top viewed, newly added and top rated content, apart from letting you set alarms for shows you want to watch.
The company already had an app for scheduling recording on its set top boxes, but it seems to be replaced by the new app.
Lost opportunity? Airtel has an opportunity here to offer a single data plan which includes subscription fee and unlimited streaming data for its mobile subscribers, in line with its new content-based approach. This could possibly provide them with an advantage over its competitors Tata Sky & Dish TV and also increase its mobile user base. However, the company has not done that yet. RCOM also an opportunity to launch such a service, but it’s not clear if the company is looking in that direction.
The company’s India CEO and Joint managing director Gopal Vittal had said that they are trying to change the vocabulary away from megabytes and gigabytes into songs and videos with initiatives like the Re 1 Entertainment store launched in August last year.
Competition: Airtel’s competitors in DTH space, Tata Sky and Dish TV already has similar offerings in the market. Tata Sky had announced its plan to launch ‘Everywhere TV‘, a service with live channels and video-on-demand on mobile in October last year, at a rate of Rs 60 per month. Zee Group’s DTH business Dish TV had also announced DishMobile, in partnership with group company Ditto TV to offer Live TV, Movies, TV shows and video.
Apart from these services, it also competes against video streaming services such as Times Internet’s BoxTV, Multi Screen Media’s Sony LIV and Spuul.com. Most TV channels also upload their show on YouTube, but do not offer live streaming. That said, Sun TV had recently inked agreements to offer content from on its television channel Sun TV on YouTube and iTunes globally on a pay-per-view basis. It is also worth noting that Sony LIV had signed a distribution deal with BoxTV to offer its video content to BoxTV users globally.
An earlier version of the post had incorrectly mentioned Digivive as a competitor.