Himanshu M Sharma , Executive Producer/Director , Joker Films Pvt. Ltd.
Digital cable pay-TV companies sometimes view the streaming services as existential threats to their business, enabling users to watch popular TV shows on demand without paying for a cable or satellite package. For a cable group who provides internet/broadband, can help in a very strategic way.
Those early misgivings have been outweighed by cable companies’ need to stay relevant. Consumers are watching videos throughout the day with little regard for whether they originate on the internet or TV; and even when customers watch online video instead of traditional cable, once the MSOs manage the customers to use their own high-speed internet services then they will not be in a big loss. Instead the synergy will only help.
Cable companies are settling on a new strategy to combat streaming services – that is simply by joining those new advanced technologies; from the worlds of Alexa, Google, and Microsoft etc. Large advanced looking MSOs with newer technologies implementation including the latest digital cable HITS platform can take a step a closer toward its goal of becoming a one-stop shop for a variety of digital video services. Even if a large MSO cable company provides customers with a limited set of popular entertainment options, which are really watched at all times at various intervals of the day by different age and gender groups in a family/household; here the cable set-top box may ultimately be better for retention than having viewers turn to their laptops, tablets, and phones to be entertained by the open internet’s array of choices – many of them free. Coming to issues of cord cutting, a fancy world to threaten cable… So far, all of this has taken place in a cord cutting universe that mostly consists of people who are savvy about this sort of technology and know which services offer which programs.
The very concept of aggregating the content in various bundles of both satellite and non-satellite content for cable has been a unique feature and can only move upward. So there is going to be a lot of demand for some form of bundling – of an option to subscribe to a bunch of streaming services, both mainstream and niche together – in packages that will be slightly more affordable than ordering each service a la carte. And when it comes to bundling, the cable companies know it better than anybody else.
Cable companies actually, by contrast, have some big advantages. One is that they have already assembled huge bundles that include most of the content customers want, making it less likely that customers will cancel their cable subscriptions over the loss of one bit or programming. The regional and local contents are the strongest pillars for digital cable to survive and thrive… Secondly the benefit of providing the regional and local contents, so very important in India.
Also cable continues to be the cheapest at the consumer level for same set of contents versus any other platform, including the new OTT platforms; this is unlike in Western Countries of the North and South America and Europe, where cable has been costlier than OTT! The pay TV market in India is actually growing and is forecast to gain an extra 30 million subscribers by 2022. For TV service providers in digital cable, there is a big opportunity to bring back younger audiences with the type of content they enjoy and seek out online.