While mobile phones in India have already crossed the One billion mark, the smartphone category is not far behind (poised to cross 500 million users in just a few more months).If that wasn’t a sign of things to come, a recent report by IAMAI and KPMG has projected that India will reach 236 million mobile Internet users by 2016, and 314 million by 2017.
The fact that more and more people are finding it easy to cut away from appointment viewing”,free to watch their chosen entertainment any time, anywhere; the OTT platform is a gamechanger in every which way. This changing consumer behavior, rising expectations and demands and constant need for new video / entertainment services streamed over multiple devices, clearly highlight the changing the landscape of the entertainment and broadcasting industry.
At dittoTV, the OTT platform of Zee Digital Convergence Limited (ZDCL), the endeavor has always been to innovate constantly for content and services that consumers find value in. (ZEEL had recently consolidated its digital businesses India.com web portal, which is a joint venture with Penske Media Corporation, and Ditto TV under ZDCL.)
A few months ago, dittoTV identified original content as one of the key focus areas to drive growth. It started with the launch of instrumental musical show called ‘Life Is Music’. We will focus on original content going forward because that will drive dittoTV as well,” said Zee Digital Convergence Ltd (ZDCL) CEO, Debashish Ghosh.
Today, a whole repository of original content in various genres like horror, humor, TV series, movies and short films, is underway. These will essentially be short-format content designed for digital audiences. The next target is to take dittoTV to newer markets and offer local content in those markets. “At this point, we are focusing on markets like the US, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Asia Pacific and some parts of Africa, except Latin America, which we may look at in future,” he stated. Ghosh underlined that dittoTV is not just an India-focused OTT platform. “We are not looking at dittoTV only as an Indian platform. It will carry non- Indian content shortly in the markets where we have launched. So in the Middle East we will carry Arabic content which may not be ours,” he noted. The idea is to make dittoTV a product that can be used not just by Indian expats, but also by any diaspora population. “Take the Vietnamese population in the US who could watch Vietnamese content on Ditto TV,” he said.
Talking about the business model, Ghosh said that dittoTV started as a paid product and that it would continue to remain so. “In a free model, you need millions of viewers to be able to monetise it appropriately, whereas in a paid model even if you have 1,000 subscribers, it essentially offsets your cost and helps you build a platform stronger,” he explained. dittoTV is also exploring the freemium model considering its success in international markets. “In paid subscription, not everythingis paid. There is a lot of content on dittoTV that is free but it has to be within the subscription proposition,” he said. The platform has also worked on unbundling to offer meaningful content to subscribers at an affordable price. “As in DTH, unbundling is happening in the OTT space too. You unbundle to offer the best possible mix of content that is relevant to subscribers,” he said.
DittoTV has packs ranging from Rs 150 for a month to daily packs of Rs 10– 20 depending on the content. Daily packs are the most popular, followed by monthly packs. “The price point should not hurt the consumer. Therefore, we have flexibility in terms of packs whether somebody wants to choose a daily pack, or weekly pack or monthly pack,” he averred. Besides video-on-demand (VoD) that comprises of content including TV shows and movies, dittoTV is the one of the select few OTT players that offers content download, so that the users can watch their favorite programs offline too.
Its other big feature is live TV (which is as good as carrying your TV set on the go). Be it live TV or TV shows, the viewers have access to the choicest of content – other than ZEE’s own content and all the movies in the ZEEL library, dittoTV has channels from most of the leading broadcasters (except for Star India and Sun TV Network) including Multi Screen Media (MSM) and IndiaCast. Backed by latest technology,dittoTV also ensures quality viewing which is adapted to suit a range on Internet speeds to deliver seamless video viewing experience.
Its other innovative features are; single sign in across multiple devices, persistent play back, interactive search, easy channel switching for live TV, intuitive user interface consistent across all devices, electronic program deviceand more.
In a new first, dittoTV just launched its BEFORE TV feature,which allows subscribers to view exciting content from under the Zee Group channels long before it is aired on television. With this new feature, dittoTV will be the only OTT provider to do so anywhere in the world, drawing increased attention towards the shift from television to mobile technology in consuming content. Focused on giving consumers freedom in their entertainment consumption experience, this feature truly aligns with the brand’s aspiration to consumer entertainment content anywhere, anytime. Subscribers can now view top rated shows such as Kumkum Bhagya on Zee TV, Dil Dosti Duniyadaari on Zee Marathi and Bhabiji Ghar Par Hai on &TV amongst other shows. With a presence in over 190 countries and a strong content base of over 1000 movies, 4000+ shows and 450+ TV shows dittoTV has already laid the largest base for OTT content consumed across the country.