TV channels fight out for mobile phone space

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Viewers can now start streaming rather than sweating when they get stuck in traffic and reach home late to catch their favorite TV shows. The entertainment channels have begun their big battle for online viewers. Consumers today are cemented to their smartphones and laptops for a greater part of the day and no wonder, channels are stepping up their online presence by tying up with online video platforms and sites.

SonyLiv is a recently launched video-on-demand service by Multi Screen Media (MSM) where shows from Sony are streamed onto to the tablets, smartphones and laptops of users. This enables users to watch their favorite TV shows Boogie Woogie and Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin. Viewers can also watch these shows from the archives section.

The company began this experiment of streaming the content on the online platform more than a year ago. MSM earlier tried streaming MyIndianIdol.com and KBCSony.com which brought them great success and the company went on further to launch SonyLiv.

The prime reason behind tablets and smartphones fast becoming the second screen for viewers can be judged by decreasing prices of these devices. The broadcaster went on to stream the audition of the popular show My Indian Idol and also offered content of a game show to the subscribers of a particular telecom network which was its advertising partner.

There are also other channels like Colors and Star which offer short clips of their shows or a full length video in their official websites. Some players also adopt free vs fee tone in streaming their shows. The players telecast the programme simultaneously on television and online. Gone are the days of appointment viewing and customers’ today demand content at their convenient time. Entertainment channels are now in distribution inking spree to reach out to mobile and tablet consumers. The companies also believe that the monetization benefits from streaming will be a mix of advertising and subscription revenues.

Currently the monetary benefits are small from the mobile apps and online platforms. However, companies expect revenues to reach better heights with more content being screened and more channels coming up in this space in the coming years. Experts say that this trend is going to continue and will start gaining pace in the coming years as for the Indian-based entertainment channels, online medium is fast becoming an inexpensive way to penetrate into the international market.

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