Bharti Airtel is offering its subscribers six months of free subscription to the AirtelTV app, which the country’s largest telecom operator is doing to celebrate its application surpassing 50 million downloads on the Google Play store. At present, the app offers over more than 375 live TV channels as well as over 10,000 movies and popular shows. To add more content on the platform, Bharti has partnered with Eros Now, SonyLIV, HOOQ, Hotstar, Amazon and AltBalaji. The operator also has plans to forge more such tie-ups to drive more content.
“Airtel TV is celebrating the milestone (50 million downloads) with its users by extending free subscription for all Airtel postpaid and prepaid mobile customers till December 30, 2018,” the company said in a statement. Under its earlier promotion offer, the app was free for Bharti subscribers till June 30, which with the new promotion offer will now be free till December 2018.
The content on the app is free, but users have to pay for the data consumed. Analysts attribute the growth in mobile video content to low cost unlimited mobile data plans. Data costs have fallen by around 95% in the last two years, which has resulted in online video consumption rising multi-fold in 2017. To further drive data usage, operators are providing free content to consumers.
According to Trai, mobile data subscribers in the country grew by 15% y-o-y to 424.67 million during 2017. Similarly, data consumption surged over four-fold y-o-y to 20,036 million MB during 2017, while data usage per subscriber per month grew 197% y-o-y to 6,720 MB during the same period.
Although, data Arpu declined 9% y-o-y to `86.38 in 2017 due to low priced data offers with charges as low as `5-7 per GB, industry data revenues rose 15% year-on-year to `38,223 crore. Even though Airtel TV has been able to cross 50 million downloads, it still lags its fiercest rival, Reliance Jio, whose Jio TV app has more than 100 million downloads on the Google Play store.
The other two major operators — Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — lag far behind. Vodafone Play app and Idea TV have 5 million downloads each on the Play store.
Video content apps like Hotstar and Voot are also doing pretty well. While Hotstar has more than 100 million downloads on the Google App store, Voot has over 50 million. Another famous app is Sony LIV, which has 10 million downloads on the store. – Financial Express