Even as over-the-top (OTT) platforms are gaining momentum in the entertainment space, Dish TV, which has been banking on revenues from direct-to-home (DTH) transmission, is now focussing on upgrading 20 per cent of its customers to online streaming services in the next 18-24 months.
This year itself, the company has set a target to upgrade atleast 500,000 viewers to online streaming services and is coming up with connected set-top boxes which can stream digital content directly to the television (TV) irrespective of the TV’s functional capabilities.
“Connected set-top boxes will offer the customer to even view digital content on a CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TV. We will be launching it in the next few weeks and it will play a crucial role to help us convert customers to digital streaming”, Sukhpreet Singh, corporate head of marketing at Dish TV India said.
It is estimated that in the country, out of 197 million homes who have TV sets, around 66 per cent own a CRT TV.
On the other hand, it has already launched streaming services stick which, once connected to the modern TVs, can stream digital content.
“We have also come up with an app where we are providing exclusive content.
Even user generated content is featured there”, he said.
The company has a customer base of 23.9 million and had added around two lakh new customers in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. This year, it has targeted a net addition of 700,000 new customers and is banking on its digital services and competitive pricing to achieve the target.
Out of its total customers, around 35 per cent spends over Rs. 400 per month to recharge their subscription packs and the rest spends less than this amount. Singh said this 35 per cent is Dish TV’s premium customer base and they are the primary targets for the upgradation plan.
While independent exclusive shows and content, without any commercial breaks, have gained popularity in the country, which has led to the emergence of various local OTT platforms like ALT Digital Media Entertainment, Hoichoi and several others, apart from the biggies like Netflix or Amazon Prime, Dish TV’s average revenue per user, has stagnated to Rs. 116 per month despite a surge in its customer base.
In the country, from a base of 528 million in 2018, digital subscription is expected to shoot up to 1.10 billion in 2030 and it is estimated that streaming sales in India will triple to more than Rs 621 billion by 2024.
Singh said in face of competition not only from peers and streaming platforms, apart from the upgradation plan, Dish TV will also be focussing on aggressive pricing for the lower end of viewers.
Asked if the targets are achievable in the backdrop of the slowdown, Singh said, “We have added new customers despite the slowdown and we haven’t seen customers downgrade their subscription packs”.