Mandar Kamat, Head of Innovations (Mobile & Technology), Hungama Digital Services

Television viewership is no longer limited to indoor couches and the market for mobile TV is growing with every passing minute.

With the  advent of  higher data  speeds,  and telecom companies offering lucrative native apps exclusively for TV streaming, there is an upsurge in mobile TV applications. Almost everyone from telcos to satellite service operators seems to have joined the bandwagon.

India being a price- and data-sensitive market, everyone is striving hard to gain inroads into this trending ecosystem. While active install base is critical for every application, there are other aspects that play a vital role. For example, user experience is critical while getting customers accustomed to watching their favorite shows on smartphones. Sporting events, especially streaming live cricket matches, will play a big role in on-boarding new users.

Cheaper subscription plans, driven by thoughtful pricing   strategies,   are   set   to   drive   customer acquisitions, while analyzing usage patterns and personalizing content will be the key in retaining users and enhancing engagement on the platform.

Aspects, such as multiscreen support, runtime encoding, high server availability, low latency, and robust content delivery network, will also play a major role in an app’s success.

Customer acquisition strategies with a focus on millennials, advanced features such as Pause- and-Play, Show Catchup, and App Reminders are mandatory for giving that edge over traditional TV viewing experience.

Tata Sky, for instance, has closely integrated their app experience to their set-top box while Jio TV provides more than 400 channels and instant access.

App developers need to support all form factors available in the market. Packaging live TV content with original VOD (Video on Demand) will act as an  enabler  for  developing niche  services.  With advancements  in  big  data  analysis technology,  data  companies  will play an important role in audience measurement. Standardization in viewer reporting technologies will soon enable incubation of app viewing patterns into ratings systems. A holistic approach of taking the experience from indoor TV sets to desktops and mobiles will enable continuous viewing.

Indeed, television content consumption on mobile devices is THE platform to watch out for and it is guaranteed to grow by leaps and bounds.