Airtel becomes first DTH player to unbundle OTT from hardware

Bharti Airtel has become the first major DTH or cable company to free up its content app, Airtel XStream, from its hardware. All other major cable and DTH companies in India offer their app only on their own device — typically a stick or a set-top-box — and do not allow the software to be […]

COVID-19: Youtube, Hotstar, Netflix etc to stop HD streaming

Several video-on-demand services in India, including Youtube, Hotstar, Tiktok, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Zee5, have decided to suspend the streaming of high-definition content as long as the Coronavirus lockdown is in place. They will continue to offer HD content on wired broadband, such as fiber and copper networks. The move is to prevent the […]

Viacom18 testing Voot Premium with international content

Viacom18, the entertainment-focused joint venture of TV18 Broadcast and US-based ViacomCBS, will launch a new content app focusing on premium, English language content, CEO Sudhanshu Vats said today. Commenting on his company’s third quarter results, Vats said the app is currently undergoing beta testing. Viacom18 currently has two apps, Voot — which largely offers Indian […]

COMING SOON: Tata Sky Binge+ Android Box; Training manual leaked

Tata Sky’s much awaited Android set-top-box, Tata Sky Binge+, is all set to become available in the coming 2-3 weeks as a dealer has leaked the technician’s reference guide for installing the service. The manual, leaked on social media, confirms what has already been reported — it will be built on top of Android TV […]

Sun NXT movies now available on JioCinema

Chennai-based Sun TV Network, which operates to the most widely watched pay channel in India, has inked a content licensing deal with Reliance Jio, India’s biggest telecom operator. Under the deal, Sun TV’s content — including those that it has purchased digital rights for — will be made available on Jio’s apps. With this, thousands […]

ZEE5 may launch Hotstar VIP-like plan soon

ZEE5, the video app from Zee Entertainment Enterprises, will introduce cheaper plans soon to take on rivals in the market, company CEO Punit Goenka said. “We are working on lighter packs which we will roll-out in the next couple of months,” the CEO said. ZEE5’s annual pack is currently priced at Rs 999. Goenka was […]

Can Airtel Xstream’s open approach beat Jio’s walled garden?

When cellular telephony started in India, Bharti and Reliance took two divergent approaches towards launching cellular services — Airtel decided to focus on providing the services, leaving third party players to provide the hardware, while Reliance decided went with CDMA, a technology in which everything was more tightly controlled. Despite the obvious technological shortcomings of […]

Flipkart starts rolling out free Amazon Prime-like video service

Flipkart, Amazon’s biggest competitor in India, has started rolling out a video streaming service on its mobile app similar to Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. The service is very similar to other streaming apps, and offers videos classified into different sections based on genres and languages. Both movie and non-movie content are available. Non-movie content, […]

Reliance Jio GigaFiber to offer free cable TV + broadband at Rs 500/month

Reliance Jio GigaFiber, the new wired broadband and cable TV service from India’s biggest telecom operator by volumes, is likely to offer free cable TV and high-speed broadband for Rs 500 per month. The customer is likely to have to make an initial upfront payment of around Rs 3,000, which would enable him to avail […]

10 cr people watch Hotstar on India-Pak match day

Hotstar, India’s largest premium streaming platform, said 15.6 million (1.6 cr) people used its video streaming app at the same time on June 16, when India played Pakistan in the ICC World Cup in England. In all, 10 cr people logged into the service some time during that day. This is a record for the […]

TV to remain content king, despite growth in mobile apps: Survey

The number of smartphone users in India is expected to almost double by 2022 from 47 cr registered at the end of 2017, a joint study by ASSOCHAM and PwC said. Fueled by cheap data and the explosion of ‘over the top’ services, the total number of smartphones will hit 86 cr by 2022, which […]

Airtel takes aim at Youtube with ‘Wynk Tube’

Bharti Airtel has introduced a competitor to Youtube, which accounts for more than half of India’s mobile internet consumption, with the launch of Wynk Tube — a Youtube like app that will focus more on music and music videos. Unlike Youtube, which does not let its free users switch to an audio only mode, Wynk […]

Delhi HC rejects plea to censor Game of Thrones, other web series

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition by a lawyer’s organization, Justice For Rights, seeking censoring of online content such as Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Vikings and Sacred Games. The petition, filed late last year, claimed that such videos constituted “unregulated, uncertified, sexually explicit, vulgar, profane, and legally restricted content”. The lawyers wanted the […]

Can Netflix avoid going Apple’s way in India?

As Netflix inches closer to saturation point in its North American home market, it is desperately looking for growth abroad. India being the only billion plus market where it can operate with ease, it is no wonder that its push is aggressive here. However, as Netflix’s market share stagnates, does it risk meeting the same […]

Jio Music no more, gets replaced by JioSaavn

Reliance Jio has pulled its enormously popular Jio Music app and replaced it with JioSaavn, a new app based largely on Saavn, a competitor that the company had acquired in March. Users who have enabled auto-updating of their apps will be upgraded to the new application automatically. With over 100 mln (10 cr) downloads, Jio […]

Zee5 added to NetRange Smart TV app store

Zee5, the content app from the Zee Group, has joined the NetRange, an app store found on televisions manufactured by global TV makers such as Philips, Grundig, HiSense, Thomson, Skyworth, Sharp and TCL. With this, the Zee5 app will become instantly available on lakhs of smart TVs across the world. “The ZEE5 app will be […]

Dish TV boxes to get support for Internet apps by December

Dish TV, India’s largest direct-to-home satellite television service, said it will send out software upgrades to over 4 mln (40 lakh) of its users that will enable them to install apps to watch Internet content on their TV by December. “There are almost 4 million boxes that we have which we can convert into connected […]

Zee Entertainment to spend heavily on ZEE5, add 4,100 films, 60 webseries

Zee Entertainment Enterprises, the largest Indian broadcasting company, said it plans to raise the number of exclusive movies on its entertainment app ZEE5 to 3,000 as it races to become the No.1 provider of digital content in India. The 3,000 exclusive movies would make the platform one of the biggest, if not the biggest, repository […]

Star agrees to share cricket matches with Reliance’s JioTV

Star India has agreed to share the feed of cricket matches involving India with Reliance Jio’s live TV app JioTV. Till now, JioTV users had to install Star’s Hotstar app to watch any of the network’s sports channels. The sharing agreement is valid for five years, said Reliance Jio, without divulging the financial details behind […]