BSNL has extended its Hello TV mobile TV offering to its data card users. The service, deployed by Percept Knorigin or PK Online, will be accessible via a web browser to all data card users, who can subscribe to the service through their prepaid or postpaid account. Interestingly, the service will also be available for non-BSNL users who can subscribe to the service by buying the Trust Card , which is a co-branded prepaid payment product offered by ITZ Cash and BSNL.
This implies that Percept Knorigin will be able to earn revenue from non-BSNL users as well, although Daman Soni, Vice President – Global Marketing & Sales, PK Online informed MediaNama that BSNL will still get a share since subscriptions will be through the Trust Card. He also informed that BSNL as well as non-BSNL customers will incur charges for data use even after paying the subscription fee for the service. He said that the company was majorly targeting users who subscribe to unlimited plans.
On being asked about the number of active subscribers, he responded that the service has close to 2 lakh paying subscribers, but he declined to comment on the ARPU. Also, he did not reveal the exact nature and percentage of revenue share between BSNL and PK Online. Remember that the company had claimed to have crossed 5 lakh users, last year.
So PK Online is in a way also competing with independent internet TV players such as Geodesic’s Mundu, Zenga TV and A2Media’s iStream.com. However, we feel that it will benefit from the push that it will get through its partnership with BSNL.
Subscription plans: The service is being offered free for the first month for BSNL users if they sign up before 17th February 2012. Post the offer, a daily plan for a single channel would cost Rs 10, a weekly plan – Rs 20 and a monthly plan- Rs 29. Bouquets of 30 channels are priced at Rs 99 for a month.
Content: PK Online claims to offer over 50 TV Channels including Star, B4U, AajTak, UTV, TV9, Times and regional channels like Raj, PTC, Sangeet Bangla and others. It will also offer videos including Movie Trailers, Gossip, Devotional, Fashion, Animation and Music videos across various languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Punjabi, in addition to full length movies.
Address the problem? Tying-up with a prepaid payments product company for payments could help in reaching out to people who do not have access to credit and debit cards, but the real issue in our opinion is bandwidth and internet costs. Also, with tv content being available freely across video sharing sites, and broadcasters offering tv episodes and live news streams on their own portals, it will be tough for the company to pull-in users, unless it ties up with operators for free data.