Direct-to-home (DTH) service provider Tata Sky has launched ‘Tata Sky Binge’, a platform that houses digital content from multiple apps. Tata Sky Binge would be accessible through the Amazon FireTV Stick – Tata Sky Edition, an exclusive offering that will allow subscribers to stream digital content from a diverse mix of apps through a single platform and single subscription fee.
The service will initially offer digital content from, Hotstar, Sun NXT, Eros NOW, Hungama Play via a single subscription fee of Rs 249 a month .Subscribers will also have access to over 5000 titles from the Tata Sky video on demand (VOD) library along with various TV shows of the past 7 days. The platform bridges internet and television content with the intention of bringing leading internet app videos to large screens.
This is yet another example of how new age content distribution platforms or over-the-top (OTT) services are converging with traditional distribution platforms like cable and digital, and DTH operators. This, however, is the first time in India that the Fire Stick has a special edition model with a DTH platform as a partner. It is not the first time Tata Sky has tied up with an OTT platform. Last year, it announced its association with Netflix, giving subscribers access to the streaming app through the Tata Sky interface.
With this tie-up, Tata Sky may also be able to address the ‘cord-cutting’ challenge faced by the company and its peers. Cord cutting refers to the practice of an increasing the number of users preferring internet supported TV platforms over traditional content distribution platforms. In the US and UK, the phenomenon is already posing a challenge to major traditional content distribution platforms, and it has started to make its presence known in many pockets of India as well.
Speaking at the launch, Pallavi Puri, chief commercial officer, Tata Sky said, “Tata Sky has always been committed to bringing the best entertainment to the big screen, powered by the finest technology and packaged in the most user-friendly interface. We are now extending the superior ‘Tata Sky experience’ to the world of apps with Tata Sky Binge.”
For OTT platforms, tying up with traditional distribution platforms is an efficient way to make inroads into the vast TV market in India. With more than 180 million estimated TV households in the country, most of them digitalized, the likes of Tata Sky and other DTH/cable distribution platforms provide penetration in a fast evolving TV market. This is also helpful given the increasing uptake of smart-TVs which support the use of devices like the Amazon FireStick.
According to Parag Gupta, head of Amazon Devices, India, “We are excited to work with Tata Sky to bring this new product to customers in India. Fire TV and the Alexa Voice Remote have made it simple to find all the content for thousands of customers with just their voice. With Tata Sky Binge, now,more customers will have access to thousands of TV shows and movies, all through one easy-to-use app. We can’t wait to hear what customers think of the new Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition.”
New subscribers to Tata Sky Binge will also get 3 months of Amazon Prime access, which includes fast, free shipping, unlimited access to popular and award-winning movies and TV shows with Prime Video, at no additional cost.
The introductory pack will comprise an Amazon FireTV Stick – Tata Sky Edition and Alexa Voice Remote with the Tata Sky Binge app installed. It comes with a quad-core processor and Wi-Fi connectivity for enhanced picture quality. Subscribers can access a host of digital content that includes Bollywood, Hollywood, cricket, regional cinema, web-series across a diverse mix of apps.
Gaurav Gandhi, director and country general manager, Amazon Prime Video India said, “Amazon Prime Video continues to be a frontrunner in shaping the way India is adopting streaming video. Our association with Tata Sky (Binge pack) is a great way for us to reach an even wider audiences base with our latest blockbuster films, popular TV shows, exclusive Stand-Up Comedy and Amazon Original Series. We are confident that Tata Sky customers will be delighted with the seamless experience of watching Prime Video on the Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition”