telecom consumption shifting from voice

  • The next leg of high growth digital consumption, is likely to be brought about by telecom operators in rural areas and in the regional markets. By 2021, around 70% consumption is estimated to be in Hindi and other Indian regional languages. Further, India is expected to have over 700 million users from non-metro cities and the number of rural internet users would have overtaken urban users by 2021. With high penetration levels that the telecom operators offer, coupled with the ability to deliver hyper customized content in customer’s choice of language across urban and rural areas,telecom operators are in the driver’s seat to capture and engage the large the number of untapped potential Indian internet users.

    Telecom companies will not only enable increased consumption but also bring out new customer segmentations. Three clear and distinct consumer segments may emerge – the mass consumers consuming TV (Free and Pay TV) and Free OTT, the tactical consumers consuming Pay TV and Pay OTT and finally a sizeable number of digital-only consumers. This segmentation is on the basis of consumers’ ability and willingness to pay for content, enabled by the digital micro-payments ecosystem. By 2020, the digital only subscribers segment could touch 4 million. This presents a great opportunity to the telecom operators.

    With the high rise in consumption in digital media, the partnership between telecom operators and content providers is getting stronger than ever. We are witnessing a variety of partnerships between telecom operators and media companies in the market. A prime example of this would be the recently concluded high profile Vivo IPL 2018 that was offered to subscribers of Airtel and Jio on their platforms at no additional cost for viewing content. Vivo IPL was expected to have over 700 million watching the event. Telecom operators have also started inking exclusive content deals. Airtel and ALTBalaji joined hands to offer exclusive digital content in March 2018. Jio signed deals with Roy Kapur Films, Saavn, and has also acquired 24.92% stake in Bajali Telefilms and 5% equity stake in Eros International Plc.

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