Online video entertainment service Box TV launched

12 Sep,2012

By Ananya Saha


After a lot of buzz around its premium online video content service, Times Internet Limited has finally unveiled in India, the US and UK. BoxTV’s content includes blockbuster movies, TV shows, short films and much more that can be accessed via web browser, smartphones, tablets or any other internet-enabled device.


The website, which can initially be accessed only by invitation, will work on the ‘freemium’ model. Content will be available on an ad-supported free-to-user basis and the rest of the content will be available on a monthly subscription basis. The subscription in India is Rs 199 per month, in US $4.99 per month and in the UK, £4.99 per month. With 12 content partners currently, the content currently is available in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada. Box TV plans to add more regional content and more content partners. The site boasts of having accrued more than 50,000 invite requests following its invite-only alpha preview in August this year.


Satyan Gajwani

Making an impact with a paid model can be a tough strategy. Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet Ltd agreed, and said, “This is the first-of-its-kind model that we are trying in India. We are positioning ourselves as premium. We will not be offering user-generated content like YouTube. And we are sure that people who want to see the content we offer, will be ready to pay.”


Mr Gajwani added, “In the US and the UK, it is easier to be a pay-model. It will definitely be difficult in India. In the first year, we will obviously be getting more subscriptions from outside India. However, we are hopeful that this ratio will change in the next 2-3 years.”


Pandurang Nayak, GM-Digital Video Initiatives, Times Audience Network/Box TV, said, “With the premium content, we are targeting SEC A in urban markets in India. And we will be adding more premium content as we go along.” For India, thanks to the broadband issues, Box TV has an in-built auto-bandwidth optimizer for working well on low or inconsistent bandwidths.


The premium video destination, though has no advertiser on-board yet, will be selling the space at price 3-4 times higher than the current internet sites in India, according to Mr Gajwani. Before opening the site for advertisers, Box TV is aiming at having a sizeable number of registered users. The marketing and promotional activities will also begin 2-3 months down the line. “We are aiming at finding early adopters, and make our service better on the feedback. Then, we will aim at viral growth. We will start marketing as the business model makes its case to spend,” said Mr Gajwani.



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