By GD Singh
Imagine carrying your own pocket DTH around,which you can use anytime you want to watch TV. In the past,this may have looked like something out of a science fiction flick,but is now becoming a reality. The next time you see someone crouched over their mobile or tablet,in a metro or at office,they are probably logged on to a mobile TV app,catching their favourite show. No longer do you have to be in front of your TV set to catch up with your favourite TV show,watch the latest cricket event or the TV premiere of the movie that you have been dying to see.
As the number of people using smartphones and tablets rise in India,consumers are increasingly adding the mobile screen to their TV viewing habits. With mobile TV apps offering the consumer a wide choice of TV channels and personalised content,TV and mobile screens are converging to offer the best way to view TV shows and events on the go. TV by appointment is no longer necessary,as mobile TV apps offer a range of entertainment and exciting content on your smartphone and tablet. Millions of consumers in India (some of the leading apps have as many as 14 million subscribers) now use TV apps to watch their favourite content and riding on the demand for content on the go,which is personalised to your needs,this trend will only rise,the figures certainly reflect this growth. As per a recent study by Wipro Technologies and IAMAI,Indian mobile value added services (MVAS) market is estimated to grow at a fast clip of 25% every between 2012 and 2015reaching $9.5 billion in 2015,from an estimated $4.9 billion in 2012.
The report also shows that mobile entertainment is the most popular segment of MVAS and service providers in this area have key opportunities to explore the rising demand for regional and localised content,on-demand music and video content and live TV shows and events. The past one year has been proof of the success of live events and regional content. Even as the ecosystem for mobile TV viewing becomes stronger,live events are driving a sharp rise in downloads of mobile TV apps,touching millions of subscribers. Live streaming of events such as the Kumbh Mela,Ramlila in Delhi and the Durga Puja festivities from CR Park and Kolkata; draws a strong audience as does cricket. For example,the ICC T20 Word Cup in 2012 drew as many as 20 million viewers to nexGTv and Kumbh Mela 2013 attracted over 5 lakh people on the mobile TV platform.
People,who watch TV on the move,also want to be able to customise their content and watch quick bytes of a match or show. During IPL 2013,as many as 5-6 dedicated channels were available on mobile TV for different viewing needs. Viewers could log on to the full match or catch up with special moments from the match or watch the IPL after parties.
While live events are extremely popular and result in a hike in downloads of mobile TV apps,consumers also get to choose their favourite TV shows as the top channels are available on mobile TV. Entertainment channels such as Colors,Star Plus,Life OK,all the top regional channels,news channels and video on demands,offer viewers a wide choice of infotainment.
As 3G networks strengthen and 4G rolls in,TV on the mobile is set to become a common sight. Localised content,content on the go,the entry of HD content,the rising use of smartphones and tablets beyond Tier I cities,all point towards a fast growing mobile TV market.
Are you ready to take your mobile screen out for a test drive?
The writer is director,DigiVive,a mobile VAS company