Reliance’s Jio TV+ eyes huge disruption in video streaming space with its unified interface

MUMBAI: Reliance Jio on Wednesday announced a new content curation platform, Jio TV+ that could potentially alter the content distribution market in the country similar to the way the company disrupted the telecom market.

The app will come with a unified interface for all Jio set-top box users and offer a single log-in for 12 video streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Voot, Sony LIV, Zee5, Lionsgate Play, JioCinema, Shemaroo, JioSaavn, YouTube, and Eros Now.

“Jio TV+ is the first bundling service in the OTT space and will definitely be unmatched in the current market,” said a senior executive at one of the top OTT services. “I fear what they have done to telecom, they are going to repeat in content distribution.”

People privy to the development said Jio TV+ has managed deep discounts of 50-75% on the monthly subscription price from some of the OTT players by offering massive minimum guarantees (MG) to their services for the first three years.

“The subscriber acquisition cost comes to around 20-25% for new customers,” said an OTT executive who was involved in negotiations with Jio. “Jio came with huge MG, including one million users in first year, 4-5 million in second and close to 20 million in third. Standalone, many of the long tail players will never be able to reach that number, so they agreed to take a price cut,” the person told ET.

Along with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and high speed broadband, Jio will be able to give a proper triple-play service — telephony, broadband and video — at an unmatched price, industry experts said.

However, the biggest innovation for Jio TV+ will be the unified interface, which will allow users to search content across different OTT apps based on not just name, but also actors, directors, genres, producers and mood.

“The unified interface is the next evolution in customer experience, which will drive innovation in content marketing, improving quality of recommendation and payment,” said Ashish Pherwani, media and entertainment sector leader at EY India.

EY, in a report on the M&E sector, has estimated that India will have 40 million connected smart TV homes by 2025.

Some experts, though, said a lot of the uptake for Jio TV+ will depend on the pricing of the service.

“A top-end customer will go for a single interface for search, but India is a price sensitive market,” CEO of a large broadcast network said on condition of anonymity. “How many people will go for it and could afford it, is the big question here.”

Pricing is the biggest issue, the person said. “What is going to be the data cost? Video is the biggest data guzzler, and behind all this excitement, we should not forget that Reliance has increased data cost steadily over the last one year. The whole consumption story is sensitive to price, and after all the investments, Reliance has to drive consumption.”

  • Leave a Comment