Leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel is reportedly partnering with Star TV, in order to stay top in the content game. This partnership will allow Airtel to distribute Star TV’s entire content portfolio on the Airtel TV application. The telco will also offer a free subscription of Hotstar, which is the leading content player in the Indian market as per a recent report from Counterpoint Research firm. However, the subscription is said to be limited for select Airtel customers like the Amazon Prime subscription.
“For the past few weeks, leadership teams of both companies have been in talks to work out details, which are near final and will get announced as early as next week,” a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Economic Times.
It is also said that the deal of Bharti Airtel with Star TV is aimed at boosting the carrier’s revenue from data services and also to retain the subscribers who’re paying for the tariff plans with better data benefit. This move will also help Airtel to compete with Reliance Jio head on head.
As stated, all the Star TV’ services will be available on Airtel’s content platform Airtel TV. “Airtel sees content bundling as a big differentiator,” added the same person. Both Airtel and Star TV did not respond to ET’s queries over this news.
“Airtel does not plan to produce any content but wants to focus on curation from multiple sources to become a one-stop shop for the customer,” the person further added.
Airtel has been aggressively developing its content portfolio over the last few months. Last month, Airtel announced its partnership with Amazon and offering free Amazon Prime subscription to its Airtel postpaid customers on the postpaid plan above Rs 499.
So Airtel might offer Hotstar subscription to postpaid users only but might open the Star TV content to every Airtel users. Airtel also said that its Airtel TV service would be open for all users until June 2018, meaning any Airtel prepaid or postpaid user can watch the content for free.