As the clock ticked on the market’s effort to ail amidst a long-term shock generated from the deadly financial year of 2020, the new findings from the November report of Susbcriber Establishment Survey (SES) put out by Chrome Data Analytics and Media illustrates a rather optimistic story for broadcasters and subsequent stakeholders. The results capped off a substantial jump in Cable and Satellite (C&S) homes by 7.3%, where the subscriber base has seen a jump from 167.9 to 180.1 million households. This report is based on a Pan India ground survey conducted between April to June 2021; representing over 209.3 million TV households in the country across a sample taking one out of every 175 households. The survey is a periodic study conducted by Chrome DM that plays a fundamental role in shaping the understanding of a changing TV landscape.
This unprecedented reversal comes on the heels of a slow economic resurgence post-Covid burnout. The cable operators faced a massive challenge during the pandemic in more ways than one. First, the shutdown led many to flee back to their hometown leaving a gaping hole in consumer share. Second, many in urban sectors have joined the rising ranks of consumers who have ‘cut the cord’ by switching their viewing habits online. According to our findings from COTT, an analytical tool that tracks viewers’ consumption and behavior towards OTT platforms, there are over 600 million internet users in India. The fellow cord-cutters have taken to alternatives on the internet that ushered in a golden age of streaming content which is a click away through low cost and easy-to-use services. Leading OTT platforms such MX Player, Disney + Hotstar, Voot and SonyLIV offer ‘freemium’ content where viewers have an option to avail themselves of both free and premium content. It offers an attractive option for many who are resistant to spending extra money on cable packages that are traditionally part of the default TV apparatus.
As per the SES November 2021 report, Pay DTH has seen a prominent jump by reaching a net total growth of 8.5% where it maintains a northward climb in both rural and urban areas. The southern markets were the top gainers amongst DTH players where the state of Kerala alone saw sizeable growth in share by 24%.
Moreover, Freedish also saw considerable growth by a giant margin of 11.1%. While every other transmission suffered from the declining market share during an economic lockdown, Freedish was successful in maintaining a steady constant. This was in large part due to the market share that heavily gravitated towards rural India which was left unaffected during the mass urban exodus back in 2020.
Digital cable saw a progressive rise by 4.1% while the analog has succumbed to a repudiated conclusion of near extinction by a declining margin of 80.9%. While over 27,755 households retained the analog subscriptions back in December 2020, the number has dropped to just over 5306 households in the month of June 2021.
OTT is here and TV continues to rule with over 200 million-plus base in India. I am delighted to see an upswing in the overall cable & satellite subscriber numbers which have grown from ~167 million in December 2020 to ~180 million now from ~184 million in April 2020 to ~167 million in December 2020.
This article is Authored by Pankaj Krishna, Founder and CEO, Chrome DM.