We have all seen the Tata Sky plus TV Spot, featuring Aamir Khan and Gul Panag. Tata Sky promises to end the constant fights between husbands and wives over the remote. With Tata Sky plus which is a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) you can Pause a live cricket match, while you answer the phone. Record your favourite action movie, while you let your wife watch her daily soap. Rewind the Prime Ministerâs speech and listen to it all over again. Get the power to pause, record and rewind live television. Tata Sky Plus is essentially a premium set-top box with a personal video recorder that allows you to record up to 45 hours of live TV.
But they have not mentioned to you the most important and the “Killer App” of Tata Sky Plus, which is the ability to skip ads.
In markets like the US, the penetration of the DVR is very high. More than 60 percent of people owning a digital set up box, own a DVR and products like TiVO and all these people are watching recorded programs and have their finger on one button which is the âSkipâ. It is predicted that in the US there will be almost 60 million DVR homes. Which means millions of viewers are already watching recorded shows and skipping ads.
The Indian television industry is largely dependent on advertising revenues and sees very little revenue flowing from cable subscriptions due to the unorganized nature of the cable TV industry in India. However, with products like Tata Sky Plus, the viewers who are sick of watching far too many ads during their favorite shows will be using the Ad Skip button. India is estimated to have a large base, almost 20-30 million digital television users in the next 5 years and it is a safe bet to take that over 50 percent of them will be using some kind of a DVR product. Currently one can buy a DVR for as low as INR 8000 and pay a monthly subscription of Rs 100. However, this is expected to go down more in the future. The bulk of the upper middle class and middle class, people who are the main targets for advertisers will all be using the features.
I have been personally using the Windows Media Center for over three years. The Windows Media Center also allows you to watch TV, record shows and ever since then me and my family only watch recorded TV (of course by skipping all the ads). The only live programs we watch are news and sports events. Even my 4 year old son hates watching his cartoons with Ads and prefers watching recorded versions of Ben 10 and Tom and Jerry while he skips all the booring ads! However I have to admit that setting up the Windows Media Center to work in India is a nightmare only only a Geek like me was successful is using it. Tata Sky Plus makes this truly plug and play.
One thing is clear TV advertisers will be HIT and HIT big time with the SKIP button. Well, the good news really in all these is for alternative advertising mediums like radio, the Internet, mobile, etc. which has not been as developed as advertisers seem to mindlessly spend all their money on TV advertising knowing that the viewers have no other choice but to watch it. But itâs all set to change and advertisers will soon discover that their ads are being skipped and they will be forced to look at other mediums to reach their message to their potential customers.
With Tata Sky Plus all viewers are able to get rid of one important factor â Time Slot. Tata Sky Plus can help draw more audience considering the fact that viewers would be watching the program, doesn’t matter what happens.
Also, very soon, with IPTV being a reality in India, applications like the network DVR where programs are recorded at the service providers data center and streamed to the user live, will again set up a new challenge for the advertisers. Till now you were the passive viewer but very soon you will have all the controls!
Tata Sky Plus is the best thing which has happened to the Indian Television viewer and is also the advertisers worst nightmare coming true…will be interesting to see how the market adapts to this Change.
For now I am going to watch the recorded version of Prison Break on my Windows Media Center.