Will Skinny Bundles work in India?

27 May,2019

 

By Indrani Sen

 

I recently read an interesting article “TV Industry Eyes Hybrid Linear, On Demand OTT services” in www.emarketer.com based on the findings of Digital TV Europe’s “Industry Survey 2019.” According to the survey, nine in 10 industry professionals worldwide had positive outlooks on the two-year growth of “skinny bundles,” or subscriptions that offer both linear and on-demand OTT services as against subscription of only SOVD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

 

The term “skinny bundle” was first coined to describe pared-down cable TV packages in the United States. In recent times, the concept of ‘skinny bundle’ has been introduced into the digital video sphere with an aim to describe either linear OTT services that offer customizable channel packages or a service that combines linear and on-demand content, as defined in the Digital TV Europe’s survey. As the article explains “The latter definition alludes to linear OTT services like Sling TV and fuboTV, which now have subscriptions that offer additional access to premium, on-demand content from services like HBO and Showtime. But it also represents SVOD services like Hulu, which bolstered its offerings with Hulu with Live TV, a linear service. (Source: https://www.emarketer.com/content/tv-industry-eyes-hybrid-linear-on-demand-ott-services?ecid=NL1001)

 

In the US and other European countries, there is a growing trend of “cord-cutters” every year, referring to the consumers who are cancelling their subscription to cable and opting for other digital services. There are also a significant number of “cord-nevers” among younger generation (those who have never subscribed to traditional cable). It would be interesting to wait and watch what impact the growth of mobile internet in India has in the next few years on the cable TV and Dish TV subscribers.

 

This model of skinny bundles can be adopted easily to suit the Indian TV industry, against our unique scenario of rapidly growing access to internet through mobile phones. Among the various options of skinny bundles shown in the above chart borrowed from the article, the option of Multiplay services (TV bundled with fixed and mobile broadband and telephone) looks like an ideal solution for Indian TV industry in near future.

 

To sum up, it is going to be an exciting time for Indian TV industry from 2020 onwards with constant changes and innovations in the way of doing business. Needless to mention that the TV channels who were early adopters of OTT platforms will enjoy a distinct advantage.

 

 

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