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“We aim to make Tata Sky Binge app popular among existing 22 mn Tata Sky subscribers”

Tata Sky’s OTT content aggregator service, ‘Tata Sky Binge’, is now available to users on their smartphone devices via their app. India’s content consumption via Internet is driven by mobile devices and Tata Sky has launched its app at a time where India’s Internet population is expected to touch 900 million by 2025.

In conversation with Adgully, Pallavi Puri, Chief Commercial & Content Officer, Tata Sky, speaks about the Tata Sky Binge mobile app and growth strategy.

What has been the adoption of Tata Sky Binge and what will be the growth with the launch of the Binge Mobile App?

Binge has been very well received by our subscribers. When we launched Binge Fire TV Stick, the Indian viewers had just started showing inclination towards OTT content. Therefore, bundling up OTT content and providing it as an add-on service that complemented your DTH connection made for a great proposition. Next, we launched the Android enabled Smart Set top box – Tata Sky Binge+, that brought linear television as well as video streaming apps – all in one box, one interface and with one remote. It was aligned to give viewers the best of both worlds, and not give up one for the other. The uptake for both the products has been faster than our initial expectations. And while the primary audience remained from the metros, we have observed increasing adoption from non-metros as well. With the Binge App, we want to appeal to the preference of those audience segments that wishes to have a more personalised and on-the-go experience of consuming entertainment. And since the product is built as per our subscriber insights, we are assured of its success.

Can only Tata Sky DTH customers access Tata Sky Binge services? Wouldn’t this impact the adoption of the app?

While the Tata Sky Binge App is currently available for Tata Sky subscribers only, our first aim is to make it popular among the existing Tata Sky base of over 22 million subscribers.

Tell us the key differences between 149 mobile only and 299 premium plans? Were they created keeping different consumer segments in mind or keeping in mind the offering?

Rs 149 is a mobile-only plan and gives access to Binge services on 3 mobile screens with content from 7 premium OTT apps – ZEE5, SonyLIV, Voot Select, Voot Kids, Eros Now, Hungama Play and ShemarooMe. Rs 299 plan gives access to content from 10 OTT apps on one TV screen, through Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition or Binge+ STB, and 3 mobile screens (Android, iOS) with access to Disney+ Hotstar Premium, ZEE5, SonyLIV, Voot Select, Voot Kids, SunNxt, Hungama Play, Eros Now, ShemarooMe and CuriosityStream.

Rs 299 plan subscribers can also view content from Amazon Prime Video on the large screen, with the help of Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition or Binge+ STB at an additional monthly subscription of Rs 129.

We always had the Rs 299 plan for the Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition and Binge+ STB, so when we decided to launch the mobile app, we rolled out another Rs 149 plan with content from seven apps. The objective behind the new plan was to appeal to a larger audience and making it a desired offering for every Tata Sky subscriber who has a smartphone.

What is the demand in the market for an aggregator app? How many OTT (video streaming) subscriptions are consumers comfortable with?

We are seeing an exceptional rise in the production of original content from all major OTT players in the country and around the globe. Content that is unique and invigorating appeases the content curious Indian audience. With an aggregator app like Tata Sky Binge, consumers can enjoy the latest new releases from multiple OTT apps on one platform, and what’s more, through a single login and payment gateway. Therefore, we envision further growth of aggregator apps since it aids content discovery, is easy to access – with a unified user interface, and comes with a single subscription and single payment module.

What are the plans to bring more OTT platforms and value to your subscription service?

We are constantly upgrading our content offerings to ensure we provide unlimited entertainment to our subscribers. To that effect, Tata Sky Binge already offers content from 10 of India’s top OTT apps, with the choice of watching content across multiple screens simultaneously. Subscribers can choose from two attractive plans – Rs 149 mobile-only plan which gives access to Binge services on 3 mobile screens with content from 7 premium OTT apps and Tata Sky Binge 299 plan, wherein they will be able to access content from 10 OTT apps on 1 TV screen (through Amazon Fire TV Stick – Tata Sky Edition or Binge+ STB) and 3 mobile screens. Our endeavour will always be to increase our bouquet of offerings and keep adding to it as we go along.

What are your subscriber targets for the next 3 years?

Since we have just introduced the app, our focus remains on increasing its awareness and establishing its value to our subscribers. We believe most of our subscribers have at least one smartphone at home, and our objective is to get them to experience the beauty and benefits of the Binge app. The app is well suited for audience segments that prefer a more personalised content viewing experience, allowing them to access its diverse library, on-the-go.

Since you are only responsible for infrastructure and not content, what will be your marketing strategy for the app?

We have launched the app with a social media campaign – #KhojoNahiDekho. As the name suggests, the campaign highlights the consumer behaviour, which suggests that people spend a lot of time browsing on apps, searching for content to watch, and often end up watching nothing. Taking cues from this insight, the campaign encourages people to stop searching and start binge-watching content from across multiple entertainment apps with a one-stop solution – the Tata Sky Binge mobile app. We have also created a product film that highlights the app’s unique propositions, which is being run on the Tata Sky platform. We have a long-term plan for the promotion of the app, which will be rolled out in phases in the next few months.

How are your partnerships with OTT players mutually beneficial?

We are glad to have partnered with some of the top OTT players in the industry for the Tata Sky Binge service, and continue to have a mutually beneficial relationship with all our partners. Through the partnerships, our shared goal of making the best of entertainment available to its right target audience is recognised. While we complement our partners by facilitating a wider reach of their offerings to our extensive subscriber base, we simultaneously strengthen our content portfolio in the process. It is really a win-win situation for both the parties.

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