Airtel has announced its Xstream Premium, which will now be a “super streaming app” and will also give users access to more than 15 different over the top (OTT) streaming services. Airtel customers will be able to access the content of these services from an application thanks to the service. It will be offered to Airtel customers at an introductory price of Rs 149 per month or Rs 1,499 per year.
The new service will feature more than 10,500 movies, shows and live channels from SonyLIV, ErosNow, Lionsgate Play, Hoichoi, ManoramaMax, Shemaroo, Ultra, HungamaPlay, EPICon, Docubay, DivoTV, Klikk, Nammaflix, Dollywood and Shorts TV.
“The current OTT ecosystem offers a fragmented experience. Payments are also a difficult problem when a user has multiple subscriptions. The proposed price of subscribing to multiple services adds up very quickly and becomes quite expensive,” said Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Airtel India. indianexpress.com in an interaction.
“One price. One login. One login. Content from 10+ platforms in one app powered by our technology. Our OTT partners do what they do best: curate and create the best content. And we do what we know how to do best: distribution and technology”, he added.
The streaming service will offer a unified experience across its mobile app, desktop app, desktop browser experience, Airtel’s Xstream set-top box and smart TV app.
Nair believes that there is another significant benefit for its OTT partners with the Airtel partnership. They can gain access to detailed audience insights and data, which can help them decide on future curation and content creation efforts. For example, a platform might look at a city like Delhi and, based on the analysis, might understand which genre works best with the city’s audience.
But this also opens up questions about the privacy of user data. Airtel believes it solves this problem by having a user consent-based framework where data is shared with partners with the explicit consent of the user. In addition, much of the data that Airtel’s OTT partners can access will be aggregated data and information.
While users can purchase Xstream Premium with all OTT services together, Adarsh Nair also hinted at the possibilities of the service being repackaged or bundled with other Airtel products depending on product, service and region.
“For example, it could be that a customer who activates a prepaid mobile package in West Bengal also unlocks Hoichoi, which is the most popular streaming service in the state. Or a client in Kerala could unlock Manorama Max. Similar bundling could also occur with our other products, including home Internet and DTH,” she said.