Guest Column: With paid subscription, JioCinema targets premium subs
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1 year ago 02:50:09pm Television

Guest Column: With paid subscription, JioCinema targets premium subs

New Delhi,13-May-2023, By Karan Taurani@Elara Caps

Guest Column: With paid subscription, JioCinema targets premium subs

Jio Cinema goes premium/SV for HBO/Warners Bros content.

Killing two birds with one stone- Pure-play AVOD doesn’t seODem sustainable and this move targets premium subscribers who want an ad free experience

Jio cinema OTT app has announced an annual subscription pack of INR 999 for HBO/Warner Bros content on the platform; IPL and other content continues to be available free


– We believe the pricing is at the lower end of premium OTT platforms annual pricing – Hotstar, Amazon, Netflix whose pricing is in the range of INR 1000-2000 for an annul plan ; however, we don’t see a large scale paid subs base due to this, as Indian audience is value driven and may not pay this much only for price HBO/Warner Bros content

– We don’t foresee a large scale paid subscriber base for Jio Cinema only for HBO/Warner Bros content; expect more content offerings to bundle (new films direct OTT or any other global content) in order to achieve a scale in this sort of any offering

– Consumers using global content definitely don’t want to watch ads and hence Netflix , Amazon, Disney + and other global giants have an ad free offering , which Jio cinema is trying to target; IPL being offered free is actually to gain traction from the masses for Jio cinema, but an ad free SVOD model with HBO/Warner Bros content will also help target the premium households

– Disney + Hotstar has had the highest paid subs base (61mn paid subs base – pre IPL ) in India primarily due to IPL, global content , web series , movies and catch up Tv content; in order to scale up to that level for a paid subs base, Jio Cinema will need to expand its content offerings

– Jio Cinema may also bundle the HBO/Warner Bros content free for their premium Jio fibre subs or postpaid mobile subs , which have a higher ARPU, as they have the best control at list mile due to a large 4G subscriber base and may not need to tie up with a third party OEM or mobile operator

– The above move (INR 999 for HBO/Warner Bros) by Jio Cinema will offer respite to India SVOD revenue and ARPU hike proposition , if extended to other content offerings; it also goes to show that pure play AVOD monetisation isn’t a sustainable model for expensive content like IPL, HBO, web series and films. India digital video market remains to be dominated by aggregators like YouTube (15% share of digital advertising) and only 8-10% of digital advertising revenue are from all other OTT platforms, which means it is indeed tough to scale pure AVOD revenues for OTT platforms , due to presence of aggregators/social media. This move of going pay by Jio Cinema, may allow other OTT platforms also to raise prices over medium term

– The issue of SVOD growth in india will be addressed by creation of bundled SVOD offerings basis factors like 1) password sharing , 2) quality of content (HD, 4K) , 3) number of devices/users, 4) some part of content ad free (HBO or IpL or any other offering) , 5) TVOD , 6) value added offerings like gaming and 7) mobile only plans , as India is a large market with a wide variety of audience; this approach adopted by other OTT platforms will be very similar to that of Netlflix India , which has multiple plans basis customer needs. Adoption of above (SVOD bundles) is a high likelihood, as raising blanket ARPU’s for OTT has a negative impact on subs growth in a market like India where 1) TV offers a large variety of content at cheap prices and 2) piracy through social media is a big challenge

– We continue to believe that Jio Cinema will need to invest aggressively on user experience front too, as all other major SVOD platforms are very seamless in their user experience, which is also a factor for customer retention apart from pure content

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