As the days passed after the implementation of the new Trai tariff regime, the subscribers waited for the good effects to show up on their pricing and the working of the industry. However, the subscribers were disappointed to know that they would be paying more for the same channels after this new introduction. Later, Trai also admitted to the fact that the new norms had upped the prices of channels and hence the monthly DTH and cable TV bill of subscribers. This increase in monthly rentals gave the subscribers a chance to turn to alternatives which came in the form of over-the-top applications. The subscribers found it much more affordable to watch their favourite shows on platforms like Hotstar, Sun NXT, ZEE5, and more. A number of reports have also come up that testify for this shift in consumer behaviour.
Trai Admits Increase in Monthly TV Bill for Consumers
Ever since the new tariff regime came out, Trai kept on saying that the new regime will bring transparency and also reduces the monthly bill to the subscribers. However, in a recent interaction with ET Telecom, the sector regulator revealed the new regime has increased the monthly TV bill of users and it’s currently looking to bring down the tariffs so that it can save the consumers from switching to OTT platforms.
Mixed Reaction to Trai Tariff Regime
The subscribers were asked questions about the new Trai tariff regime and how it had affected the pricing of channels, their viewing habits and more. Jasal Shah, MD & CEO of Velocity MR said, “The opinion on the new Trai rules weighs slightly more to the positive side as more than 50% say that it allows them to choose the channels that they want to watch and hence the cost per channel is not an issue. But an equal majority of about 40% claim that by the new regulation they get fewer channels for the same price they had paid earlier. In other words, TV subscription costs have become expensive. Close to 5% are not even aware of this new regulation.”
Shah also stated, “The New rule might drive consolidation in the broadcasting industry as content will be the king and critical divergence. Meanwhile, Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other such streaming services may be the inadvertent beneficiaries, as the move may bring in more subscribers to the OTT platforms, as the viewers could shift due to the rising subscription bills.”
80% Subscribers Likely to Opt for fewer Channels or OTT Services
As per the study published by Velocity MR, 80% of the people had said that they would either opt for lesser channels or switch to OTT providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. The study also highlighted that the average spend on cable or DTH connections in a month was Rs 350. In the metro cities, the study showed that almost 60% of the subscriptions were from DTH providers and 40% were cable TV. The survey also revealed that the average time users spent watching TV at homes or consuming online video content was pegged at 2 hours. 60% of the subscribers also had a broadband connection at home, and Airtel emerged to be the top broadband provider. Also, 70% of the people admitted to watching Amazon Prime videos at least once a week and Netflix was said to be the platform with the best original content.