Dish TV India, one of the largest Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators in India on Sunday said that it will “continue to invest in evolving technologies to fulfill customer needs.” The development was shared by Jawahar Lal Goel, managing director of Dish TV India in the company’s annual report released on Sunday for the period ended March 31, 2020. Goel said in a message to shareholders that Dish TV India will "continue to adopt and deploy the latest technology to meet the needs of subscribers in the most efficient manner.” The report also reflects on the COVID-19 pandemic with the company highlighting that it “sees opportunity in this adversity and looks forward to leverage its pan-India reach, strong rural connect” to connect with users. With the user sentiment “remaining cautious to spend,” the company said that “it could cause migration of subscribers from costlier mediums like IPTV to more pocket-friendly options like DTH and cable TV.”
Dish TV India Witnessed “Significant Jump in Recharges” Through Digital Mediums
The company said that its post COVID-19 “operational plan incorporates the touchless way of getting new acquisitions, installations and service.” Dish TV India said that the pandemic fuelled demand for home entertainment resulting in television and streaming platforms to see “significant growth.” Crucially, the company said that the spike in television and streaming platform consumption due to the COVID-19 outbreak is “likely to persist in future as well.”
“With the home entertainment left as [the] only choice during lockdowns subsequent to COVID-19 pandemic, the Company witnessed [a] significant jump in recharges with digital mediums,” Dish TV India said in its report.
The company said that its users preferred online real-time payment modes such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and e-wallets for recharges over cash and physical outlets.
“Increasing proportion of renewals through digital mediums should be the new normal in the post-COVID-19 world,” Dish TV India said in its report.
The company said that the return of fresh content on the general entertainment channels along with sporting action “can be expected to be a strong stimulus for recharges going forward.”
Goel said that the Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry is the “fastest developing sector in the world” and that the industry is evolving to user demands.
“Consumers are expecting M&E provider to deliver choice, convenience and value, all wrapped inside personalised, customised experiences, that are available on demand,” Goel said. “This has resulted in continuous reinventing and explore dynamic entertainment genre, be it in terms of platform, devices, delivery, consumption patterns, government regulations as well as technology and payment methods [sic].”
Further, Goel said that the “transformation phase” of the M&E industry has resulted in the “emergence of many new trends and opportunities” on multiple fronts such as content distribution and consumption.
“The Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms are trying to jostle for space along with traditional distribution platforms,” Goel said. “With the increasing threat from internet content and OTT players, some TV distribution networks have launched their own OTT platforms or partnering with pure play OTT players to retain their urban and rural audience along with expanding their viewership.”
Crucially, Goel highlighted that the price gap between OTT platforms and DTH providers along with the average revenue per user per month “will play a positive role in favour of DTH player.” However, Goel said that the consumer habits will “determine the longevity and acceptance of the OTT platform” beyond the initial years.
It has to be noted that the company launched smart dongles such as Dish SMRT Kit and d2h Magic enabling users to convert existing Set-Top Box into smart device to access OTT content. It was highlighted that the company associated with multiple OTT players such as Amazon Prime Video, Zee5, SonyLiv to enable its users to access OTT content through smart dongles.
“The partnering with leading technology platforms like Amazon, Fire TV Stick and Huawei App Store and being embedded in our very own Dish Smrt Stick, Smrt Kit, Magic Stick, Smrt Hub and Stream, will provide further opportunities to grow business,” Dish TV India said in its report.
Watcho Set to Become “One-Stop” Destination for Entertainment Needs
Goel said that the Watcho platform, Dish TV India’s in-house product has already shown “green shoots of revenue generation with subscription model coming into play.”
“We are working towards making this application a one-stop shop for all entertainment needs for our subscribers,” Goel said. “We will continue to remain ahead of the competition in terms of new launch, innovation led by technology and provide all contemporary means of affordable entertainment to the subscribers.”