DigiVive, a B2B mobile value added services company which offers mobile TV and video on demand services by partnering with operators, has launched a new operator agnostic mobile TV app, nexGTv, which allows users to watch live television channels and video on demand on their mobile phones over 2G, 3G and Wifi networks. It looks that the company has partnered with MobiWorld Media’s SPB TV to essentially offer a rebranded version of the latter’s mobile TV solution.
Switch to ‘over the top’ from being a white labelled service? Interestingly, the company clearly mentions that all content is available free of charge and that only data charges apply. We wonder why a company which had a subscription based service has switched to a free model for smartphones. It might be possible that the move is for gaining initial traction. But then it also eliminates the operator’s share from subscription, routing the service through app stores. Also, with this launch the company will now compete with other mobile and internet TV services including Zee’s recently launched Ditto TV, PK Online’s Hello TV, Geodesic’s Mundu TV, Zenga TV and A2Media’s iStream.com. So now there are quite a few number of players in the off-deck mobile tv and VOD space in the Indian market.
What Does It Offer? The app claims to offers more than 50 national and regional channels span across various genres like News, Entertainment, Devotional, Music and Movies including Star TV network’s bouquet of channels, Aaj Tak, DD, India TV, CNEB, Fashion One, Aastha, Headlines Today, NDTV 24X7, NDTV Profit , NDTV Goodtimes and so on. Video on Demand offers full-length movies, short movies including BR Chopra’s Mahabharat series.
Feature-wise, the app offers full screen viewing, fast channel switching, integrated EPG TV guide, ability to create a favorite channel lists, volume and brightness control, adaptive bit-rate streaming and others.
Digivive states that the app is currently available for free on all major mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Symbian, and BlackBerry, and claims to have clocked close to a million downloads, although it is not yet clear whether this number includes all the apps developed by the company including the ones for mobile operators. For instance, there are four nexGTv apps on the Google Play Store – one each for BSNL, MTNL Mumbai, MTNL Delhi and one regular app. Another interesting thing to note here, is that SPB TV distributes the app on the iTunes store.
Issues With Android App? While the company states that users can simply download the app and view live TV Channels and Video On Demand on their mobile phones, we weren’t able to view the TV stream on the Android-based HTC Desire Z and Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo, with an error screen popping up with a messsage – “Please open this page with the link provided by nexGTv application start screen” and a close button to exit the app. The app works just fine on an iPhone 4 and an Android phone now.
Competitors: Last month, Zee New Media, the digital business of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, had launched an online TV subscription service called Ditto TV, which offers live TV streams and video on demand content on mobile phones, tablets, PCs, entertainment boxes and connected TVs. Before that, PK Online had also extended its Hello TV service to non-BSNL users, provided they subsribe to the service through a BSNL branded ITZ Cash card. Apalya’s TV platform has been used by a large number of mobile operators to offer mobile TV service on their own networks.