TataSky Looks to Get More Interactive Services on Board

Direct-to-home operator TataSky is betting big on interactive services to expand its offering as it has plans to have 16 such channels on its platform by the end of this fiscal.

TataSky, which has recently introduced Transfer service for its customers allowing them to watch its recorded feed on handheld devices will add one new interactive service every month till March 2016.

“That is the focus area for us… Now, we are shifting to newer audience, both in cities and rural areas. We need to add more services relevant to those customers,” TataSky CEO Harit Nagpal told PTI.

The company had last week added a new interactive service – Actve Fitness – which allows a viewer to feed details and get suggestions on lifestyle.

“This is just an indicator of the kind of new interactive service that one is likely to see from us. There will be a series like this. Apart from fitness, we are building content on many other subjects. That’s the focus of this year. Almost every month, one new service will come,” he said.

TataSky is running 10 interactive services on subjects ranging from cooking to English, Fun Learn to Javed Akhtar and Smart Manager to Vedic Maths.

Moreover, TataSky, which has over 10 million active subscribers, is also witnessing fast growth from non-urban regions.

“Currently, 60 percent of our subscribers are from the city and 40 percent out of the city. But for new customers, this is reversed. Now, 60 percent of new customers are from out of city and 40 percent from city,” he said.

On 4K resolution channels, Nagpal said it will increase in coming years as its availability would grow. “4K is exactly at a stage at which HD channels were five years before when we had started. We had 20,000 customers and now, we have in millions and 50 HD channels,” Nagpal said.

TataSky has a limited number of 4K subscribers at present, but he said now more and more 4K TV sets are coming and prices are on the way down.

Besides, TataSky, which has shifted to MPEG4 format from MPEG2 by investing around Rs. 800 crores, added 80 new channels on its platform in the past five months by upgrading compression technology.

“Since May to now, we added close to 80 channels on our platform and now we are carrying 400 plus channels,” said Nagpal.

On plans to go for co-production of set-top-boxes, he said: “We are considering that. We are waiting for vendors. My only concern is quality as we take a few years to bring down the failure rate.”