The new tariff regime brought by the industry regulator TRAI has shifted the industry towards a new direction. There have also been mixed sentiments regarding the new tariff regime, with some believing it to be a positive change and others feeling that it has forced the prices to shoot up. However, to get a clear picture of what the consumers think, Velocity MR, a prominent market research and analysis company announced the results of their pan-India study which took note of current TV viewing, spending patterns and sentiment of consumers. The study reveals that Over-the-top (OTT) and on-demand streaming platform could emerge as unintended beneficiaries of the new tariff regulations as consumers choose channel on a need-to-see basis but seek variety content.
The survey covered 2,010 respondents across Indian cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Pune. The report says that more than 80% of subscribers are looking to switch to OTT platforms over Cable TV in the long run.
The subscribers were asked questions about the new Trai tariff regime and how it had affected the pricing of channels, their viewing habits and more. Jasal Shah, MD & CEO of Velocity MR said, “The opinion on the new Trai rules weighs slightly more to the positive side as more than 50% say that it allows them to choose the channels that they want to watch and hence the cost per channel is not an issue. But an equal majority of about 40% claim that by the new regulation they get fewer channels for the same price they had paid earlier. In other words, TV subscription costs have become expensive. Close to 5% are not even aware of this new regulation.”
Shah also stated, “The New rule might drive consolidation in the broadcasting industry as content will be the king and critical divergence. Meanwhile, Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon Prime and other such streaming services may be the inadvertent beneficiaries, as the move may bring in more subscribers to the OTT platforms, as the viewers could shift due to the rising subscription bills.”
As per the study published by Velocity MR, 80% of the people had said that they would either opt for lesser channels or switch to OTT providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.
The study also highlighted that the average spend on cable or DTH connections in a month was Rs 350. In the metro cities, the study showed that almost 60% of the subscriptions were from DTH providers and 40% were cable TV. The survey also revealed that the average time users spent watching TV at homes or consuming online video content was pegged at 2 hours. 60% of the subscribers also had a broadband connection at home, and Airtel emerged to be the top broadband provider. Also, 70% of the people admitted to watching Amazon Prime videos at least once a week and Netflix was said to be the platform with the best original content.