India’s 3rd largest telecom player, Idea Cellular, has finally decided to take the plunge into the on-demand entertainment sector. As per reports emerging, Idea is planning to challenge the might of Jio with their own suite of on-demand TV, videos, music and games.
Another set of reports indicate that Idea would be launching their new ‘Digital Idea’ services on January 30th, 2017.
Linking their new initiative with Digital India campaign, MD Himanshu Kapania said, “As we leapfrog from being a voice and data services provider to becoming a full-service digital solutions company, we continue to deliver on our promise of ‘changing lives’ and become the catalyst in fueling the Digital India movement,”
If we compare with other telecom operators, then Airtel already has Wynk Music, Wynk Movies along with their own Digital TV apps, while Vodafone has Vodafone Play App. But, the inspiration and the trigger, it seems, is Jio.
As of now, Idea provides subscription based services Hungama Digital and EROS Content.
Idea’s Own Digital Entertainment Platform
There are three crucial factors to consider while evaluating Idea’s plunge into digital on-demand services:
- Idea is expecting strong demand for video content in the coming days. As per their internal assessments, traffic for digital videos on Idea’s own platform will increase by 60% by 2020. Now, considering that video traffic on the Internet has indeed increased by 336% after introduction of Jio.
- Idea will not create their own content, but rather curate content, and provide them on the subscription basis. Idea has informed that they would be happy being a content aggregator, rather than the creator of original content.
- Idea will expand, enhance and improve their existing Value Added Services (VAS) to include several forms of ‘branded content’, encompassing ‘entertainment, information, communication, and utilities, and also offer a platform for third parties to launch consumer-centric applications.’ Details are awaited regarding this aspect of Idea’s Digital Services.
In one of their quarterly reports published last year, Idea had named their various services under this segment, namely Idea Games, Idea Videos, Idea Music, Idea Chat among other.
The inspiration is clearly Jio, which had launched their own suite of digital entertainment along with rolling out their 4G services and their own branded Lyf handsets. In Jio’s case, they already have JioCinema, JioTV, JioMusic along with JioMags, JioXpressNews, and JioNewspaper.
But competing against Jio would be an uphill task, because Jio is providing free Internet, and after the Welcome Offer ends, highly subsidized 4G Internet.
Will Idea compete with Jio for reducing tariff along with providing on-demand internet?
We will keep you updated as more details come in..