Global Impact: How Streamers are Entertaining the Diaspora
Content, Platforms & Pricing for the Non Resident Indian
Welcome to the 4th edition of “Streaming in India”, your weekly news digest about streaming players, OTT trends and more in one of the fastest growing video markets. If you are not already a subscriber, please sign up and receive it directly in your inbox every Wednesday!
Digital entertainment options for the diaspora
The Streaming Media Guy’s View
Digital Entertainment Options for NRIs
The Indian diaspora has a plethora of streaming options available today. In addition to our examples below, please go ahead and share your feedback on some of the more popular options which we might have missed out today and we will be happy to add them to our “analysis” list. Our endeavour here is to showcase a brief exploration of a few larger streaming platforms and their strategies to cater to the non resident Indian.
Sling TV is an American streaming service operated by Sling TV LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dish Network. Launched in 2015 at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sling TV is one of the first app based TV services which aims to complement subscription video on demand services for cord cutters, offering a selection of major cable channels and OTT-originated services that can be streamed through smart TVs, and apps.
The service is only available in the United States & Puerto Rico. Also, Sling TV is a gateway to the US for Indian OTTs such as Hotstar, SonyLIV, MX Player, amongst others.
Prices start at $99 / year.
YuppTV is one of the largest online streaming services with over 200+ Live Indian TV Channels, 7 days of catch-up TV, Latest Regional and Bollywood/Hindi Movies - especially popular amongst the diaspora audience.
With YuppTV, you can now watch your favourite TV Channels, Movies, Programs across various genres such as News, Sports, Comedy, Romance, Family Drama, Crime, Spiritual, Entertainment and Music on your PCs, Smart TVs and Smart phones.
We like the fact that there are packages specific to various Indian languages plus they bundle in aha, SunNXT and other such relevant OTTs!
Prices start at $59.99 / AED 299.99 per year
Hindi - Star Plus, Colors TV, Zee TV, Star Bharat, Colors Cineplex, Zee Cinema, Colors Rishtey, & TV, Times Now, Aaj Tak, Republic TV, NDTV India, Tez News, MTV India, MTunes, 9XM, Music India, Mastiii
Telugu – Star Maa TV, Gemini TV, Zee Telugu, ETV, ETV Plus, ETV Cinema, ETV Life, TV9 Telugu, NTV, TV5, Star Maa Movies, Star Maa Gold, Gemini Movies, Mana TV, TV Asia Telugu, 10TV, Bhaarat Today, Aradana TV, Bhakthi TV, Pooja TV, Calvary TV, CVR English, CVR News, HMTV, iNews, Jeeyar TV, Mahaa News, Mana TV, OM CVR, Raj News Telugu, Rakshana TV, SVBC Channel, Sakshi TV, T News, TV5 News International, V6 News, Vanitha TV, ETV AP, Gemini Comedy, Star Maa Music
Tamil - Sun TV, Star Vijay, Zee Tamil, Colors Tamil, Sun Music, Jaya TV, IBC Tamil, Athavan TV, Kalaignar TV, KTV, Sirippoli TV, Puthiya Thalaimurai TV, Seithigal, Thanthi TV, Chithiram TV, Captain News, Sun Music, Polimer News
Malayalam - Asianet, Surya TV, Surya Movies, Asianet Plus, Mazhavil Manorama, Flowers TV, Asianet Movies, Mathrubhumi News, Asianet News, Reporter, Kaumudy TV.
Kannada - Zee Kannada, Star Suvarna, Colors Kannada, Udaya TV, Udaya Movies, Colors Super, TV9 Kannada, Public TV, Sri Sankara Kannada
Punjabi - Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal, 9X Tashan, Alpha ETC Punjabi, Prime Asia TV, Desi TV, 5aab TV, Channel Y
Marathi - Star Pravah, Zee Marathi, Saam, 9x Jhakaas, Colors Marathi, Zee 24 Taas, TV9 Marathi
Bengali - Star Jalsha, Zee Bangla, Colors Bangla, Rupashi Bangla, Dhoom Music, Sangeet Bangla, Newstime Bangla
Urdu - Paigham TV, Paigam Pushto
Gujarati - Colors Gujarati, Lakshya TV
One of the first media companies from India to have ventured to foreign shores way before the streaming revolution, Zee Entertainment Enterprises is building a strong presence now in popular diaspora locations such as the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Australia and parts of South East Asia through it’s popular app Zee5 which is available across all major digital devices.
They have adopted interesting marketing strategies to penetrate these markets including university tie ups, foreign labor camps, supermarkets and so on. For example they held Bollywood dance competitions across 150 universities in the US. In addition, on-ground events during cultural festivals like Durga Puja and Diwali were some of the other tie ups that Zee5 used to increase awareness and brand recall.
Prices start at $59.99 / AED 129.99 per year.
For a lot of Malayalis, Malayala Manorama is their Google! And from the famous media, entertainment and news powerhouse comes ManoramaMAX serving up a wide variety of content including live news, movies, web series, reality TV and catch up TV shows - especially popular in GCC countries where a large majority of the Malayalam speaking diaspora are based.
Price is $24.99 / year.
At one point in time, they were Bollywood’s most prolific film production house and distributor globally. We are now seeing a resurgence of the company as they seem to have revamped their overall go to market strategies starting with a once-popular direct to consumer streaming app, ErosNOW. They have added Eros Original shows to the platform which is a much needed boost to their content strategy which earlier relied heavily on Eros produced films only.
Prices start at $49.99 / AED 109.99 per year.
A fast growing Telugu and Tamil language focused OTT partly owned by South superstar Allu Aravind, Geetha Arts and My Home Group of Hyderabad, aha has gained in popularity since it’s launch in March 2020, when the pandemic hit.
Prices start at $34.99 / AED 89.99 per year.
One of the Top 3 OTT platforms from India with an international direct to consumer strategy, except for the United States where a partnership with Sling TV fuels it’s growth, SonyLIV has seen a comeback of sorts in the recent past with live sports, original shows such as SCAM, SCAM 2003, India’s Got Talent, India’s Best Dancer etc offering the diaspora plenty of options for non-stop entertainment.
Prices start at AED 144.99 per year.
The Streaming Media Guy’s View
There is a clear economic upside for Indian content owners and streaming platforms to cater to the large diaspora population - significant multiplier effect on subscription revenues, advertising rates and cultural impact across borders. We should also be cognisant of the recent success that India has tasted at the Oscars with RRR as this inflection point is helping Indian content travel irrespective of language barriers and getting to parity with the likes of Korean dramas, Arabic soaps and Spanish / French movies / shows. In many ways, the current time presents a golden opportunity for regional language OTTs to grow streaming businesses catering not only to our brethren in New Jersey, Dubai etc, however also dub the same content and make it available to audiences from Bangladesh to Turkey. And finally, as the Indian FAST universe expands globally, content owners can leverage the expanded reach and revenue that this medium offers!
That’s all for today folks - looking forward to seeing you next Wednesday. If you enjoy reading this newsletter, please go ahead and share it with your friends and colleagues!
Followers of Netflix in India must have noticed how they have consistently upped their “local” content game over the last few months - continuing with that trend, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars Kareena Kapoor Khan makes her OTT debut with Jaane Jaan.
Bonus - Watch the Asian Games Live on SonyLIV (For India). Enjoy!
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