Tata Sky launches VoD service on Sky+ HD platform
While catch-up TV clips are free, a nominal fee of Rs 25 will be charged on every movie download from January 2012.
DTH service provider Tata Sky has launched Video on Demand (VoD) service, which would have catch-up TV and a movie and concert library for subscribers for easy download on the Tata Sky+ HD platform.
Elaborating on the reasons for coming out with these services, Vikram Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Tata Sky, said, “We already have a pay-per-view service Showcase, but we found that customers wanted two key elements incorporated. They wanted to watch old movies or movies of their choice as opposed to the select movie available on Showcase and they wanted to watch it at their convenience. Moreover, in case they missed watching or recording episodes of their favourite shows, they wanted to catch up on them.”
With this in mind, Tata Sky will now offer an extensive movie library (Hindi, English, and regional) along with music concerts and the latest episodes on TV, available for download. At the time of launch, customers can access a total asset base of 500-1,000 titles (movies + concerts + catch-up TV clips), the number is expected to double in a month’s time. Catch-up TV will allow viewers access to the last five episodes of the shows, with the content available from Tata Sky for free. For each movie downloaded, a nominal price of Rs 25 will be charged. As part of the launch offer, movies can be downloaded free of charge for the month of December. The service works with any broadband connection with charges applicable from the service provider.
Mehra shared more on the new additions to their premium PVR offering. He said, “Though some of the content is available for download through Torrent for consumers, it is often pirated and most importantly, it is also difficult to find and download. Our focus has been to get the legal content in digital quality and offer it to our subscribers with no ad breaks. We have ensured that our user interface is easy and intuitive for all users. On the VoD interface, we have put in a lot of focus to make it very easy for users to find the desired content and download it at the click of a button. So whether you are eight or 80, every Tata Sky+ HD subscriber can use the VoD service to get what they want, when they want. The service has already been tested for a period of two months in a 1,000 homes and the feedback is extremely positive and encouraging.” For ease of use, the database has been meticulously organised under different heads, along with a search function.
According to Mehra, this would bring the DTH platform and broadband services together, similar to the functions of an IPTV. The company is also coming out with a high-decibel campaign next week coinciding with the launch. It would be a non-celebrity campaign, primarily TV-led along with digital (SEO/SE marketing/ banner ads/ social media) to explain to the audience in an interactive fashion, Mehra divulged. At a later stage, OOH and radio may also be used. Tata Sky has also carried out several on-ground activations to educate people on what HD is all about.
As for the success of their new services, Mehra remarked, “We have a customer base of 8 million, around 63 per cent falling in the SEC A bracket, the target group for advertisers. So, it offers a great forum to sell content, and also for our internal communications. For producers, it offers them a legitimate share of revenue, which they were otherwise losing out due to piracy. It combines the advantages of broadcasting with direct marketing.”
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