The latest trend in the wired broadband industry is undoubtedly the bundling of OTT services to subscribers. The new phenomenon has caught hold in the Indian wired broadband industry as the consumption of content over mobile phones; smart TVs has proliferated in the last few years. The impetus is coming from a lot of poles, and it’s not just a single factor that’s driving this trend. The foray of companies like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and then the barrage of other domestic OTT Services has contributed to the craze. Then the diving of Indian production houses has further fueled the fire of OTT services in India.
The Case for Rising OTT Consumption
With all of these events being the formidable force behind the OTT revolution in India, the broadband providers in the country and telecom companies have jumped the bandwagon alike. The provision of OTT services in the broadband plans might seem like a counterintuitive move on the part of these companies since it raises the cost significantly. But, in the long run, as customers get hooked to the dopamine-inducing rush of thrillers and movies on these platforms, they seldom go back to their normal lives. The long web series and the watch-all-you-want nature of these platforms keep the consumers coming back for more. This, in turn, drives heavy data consumption for data and broadband services. As such, the companies look at the bundling of OTT services as being an investment for the long run.
The difference in Pricing and Lack of Options
However, what’s worrisome in this trend is the blatant lack of options that the users suffer through in this race. Not to mention the distinct difference in pricing they encounter when looking at plans with OTT services and the plans without OTT services. To give you an idea of how the price differences work in this case. We take a look at plans available in the Delhi region for this comparison. One of the prominent Broadband companies in the Delhi region, Excitel broadband, is offering a 300 Mbps plan which is available for Rs 899 per month for the one-month option. The subscribers also get some discount on these plans if they go for a longer-term subscription.
As for the plans by ACT Broadband in this region, the ACT Diamond plan, which comes with OTT applications, is priced at Rs 1,349 per month and offers Netflix along with a ZEE5 subscription. The speed is again 300 Mbps, and the data is unlimited. The same is the case with JioFiber, which offers 300 Mbps data speed and bundled Netflix and Amazon Prime in the plan priced at Rs 1,499. On a simple comparison, it’s not hard to notice that the plans bundled with OTT services definitely increase in price as well.
The solution to this seems to be the provision of an option by the broadband providers, wherein the subscribers have the choice of opting into the OTT services or not. An example is Nextra Broadband in Delhi which offers Entertainment plans separately which come bundled with OTT plans. Such a similar thing can be done by companies like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and other popular broadband providers so that the subscribers have the option to pay a fair price for the services that they actually require.