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Ditto TV sees more demand for regional content

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MUMBAI: With an aim to be the default app on every internet enabled smartphone in India for content delivery, Zee’s dittoTV seems to have got its marketing pitch correct with #BeeskaTV and #DeshkaTV campaign.

Poised to clock an annual revenue of Rs 150 crore (according to a media analyst) from a base of approximately six million installs (downloads), mostly in the Hindi speaking markets (HSM), the OTT service is attracting audience from a segment that is still growing in India.

“We have received a phenomenal response across all our platforms--- six million installs and counting! The viewers loved our television commercial and we trended at no. 3 worldwide on Youtube when the campaign went live," gushed dittoTV business head Archana Anand.

#BeeskaTV and #DeshkaTV were among the top 10 Twitter trends worldwide, according to Anand who added that the the dittoTV app trended at #1 in the entertainment category in both the Android and iOS app stores.

With an aim to build on this trending success and further enhance penetration, the digital platform has tied up with sister company Siticable, which is one of the oldest and largest MSOs in the country. Both come from the Subhash Chandra and family-promoted Essel group.

As part of this collaboration, Siticable will be pushing the authentication and subscription to dittoTV from its portal to the subscribers of its cable TV service for free. The cable TV service will share 20 per cent as revenue for every ditto TV subscription that the operator sells.

dittoTV subscription charges for three months, six months and one year are Rs 50, Rs 90 and Rs 170, respectively.

“They say well begun is half done. By that theory, we are in an extremely good position. With the new alliance rolling out and the masses sharing the phenomena of #BeeskaTV, we see the start of a fun and exciting journey,” Anand explained, adding a strong uptake is also reflected on the service’s usage and good content consumption.

Anand and her team are working on getting new business partnership for the platform and some alliances are said to be in the pipeline, which were not disclosed.

The platform credits its success to a combination of factors: width and depth of content and its incredible pricing. dittoTV offers access to over 100+ Hindi, English and regional-language channels encompassing general entertainment, sports, movies, news and lifestyle at just Rs 20 a month.

What worked best on Indian television (general entertainment) seems to have mirrored on the OTT service too as GECs were key drivers of dittoTV, followed by regional and news channels.

“Regional language content performs superbly across all our platforms and is rising steadily,” opined Anand claiming that regional viewer is also a `returning viewer’ and spends higher time compared to the platform average.

“On certain days, we’ve actually seen higher consumption for certain regional GECs as compared to key Hindi GECs. Sports and News are very event based and do extremely well for us in bursts when there is a sporting event or breaking news,” Anand said.

The average view time on the platform has been up to 24 minutes per user. What the reason? Events like cricket (the West Indies vs. India series) and the bundling of dittoTV with data packs with telcos like Idea Cellular have contributed to this substantially.

dittoTV has deliberately positioned itself differently from other similar players in the markets like HotStar, Sony Liv and Voot as they follow a simple and clear strategy of providing live content similar to what is available on television.

An aggressive pricing strategy notwithstanding, dittoTV is still far away from replacing cable TV or DTH from consumer homes as a primary source of video consumption, but Anand is upbeat.

“TV is synonymous with entertainment for the Indian masses and dittoTV being a linear TV offering remains synonymous with TV. I strongly believe that our platform will be a game changer and will help us drive volumes as well as change the way people consume content on-the-go,” she concluded.

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