Video aggregation company A2Media (iStream.com) has raised $5 million from SAIF Partners. Although the company has not mentioned how it intends to utilise the amount raised from the funding, it appears that it will be invested in its new portal, and for bringing its content offering to multiple devices.
The company which started out in 2007, offering video content from partners such as Times Now, Zoom, Raj TV, Filmy, NDTV Lumiere, Vissa, Kairali TV and later Viacom18, to online destinations like YouTube, DailyMotion, MSN, Jagran/Yahoo, Indiatimes and Sify, has now launched its own portal, iStream.com, featuring Indian content across news, TV shows and movies.
According to the company it will first offer news video clips as well as Live TV feeds, across major Indian languages, and will also launch TV and Movies sections in December. It also plans to launch an iOS app by next month and intends to make the service available on mobile phones, set top boxes, gaming consoles and connected TVs. It will also target the Indian diaspora in overseas markets.
The portal presently offers Live TV streams from Times Now, ET Now, Headlines Today, Aaj Tak, TV9 AP, TV9 Karnataka and News9; and news video clips from all of these in addition to clips from regional players such as Sun News, Gemini News and Star Ananda. The site offers a Browse page with filters for Category, Language, Genre, Channel, Show and Season to help users watch specific content. Users can also save videos as Favorites, once they register.
At the time of writing this post, there were no advertisements on the site or within the videos. It might be possible that the site chooses a freemium model, offering selected content on a subscription basis or introduce ads at a later stage. However, we wonder how it will drive audience when most news channels offer live streams or video clips on their own site and on YouTube. The focus might shift to Entertainment content and TV soap operas, which have a huge demand, going by the number of YouTube channels, which are not legal, dedicated to them.