- India”s total television population is over 140 million out of which around 83 % have access to cable and satellite i.e. around 115 million. There are around 31 million DTH subscribers and for an industry which is just 7 years old these figures are commendable. Direct to Home television technology or DTH, when one thinks about its customer base then normally the opinion is that its maximum customer would be from metro or tier one cities but contrary to all perceptions a report from a marketing research company Francis Kanoi states that more than 70% of the DTH subscribers are from rural India or small cities and towns. Now this is a startling fact and it can be attributed to reasons like the unavailability of cable network providers in these areas thus such users prefer DTH services.
Now this fact has an impact on the online recharge industry. Online DTH recharge facility is must for an online recharge portal to keep in its portfolio but there is a stark contradiction here. More than 70% of DTH users come from demography where internet penetration is minimal in India, so the people who have access to internet do not prefer to use DTH and the people who use DTH, well most of them don”t have access to internet. Thus the intersection of the people who use DTH and have online access will be comparatively smaller to mobile phone users making it the least lucrative option when compared to Online Mobile Recharge and Online Data Card Recharge. This requires a cost benefit analysis from the side of the service provider but at the same time it is required by the portal to provide a complete solution to all online recharge needs of a customer.
In recent future we can expect a change in preference of the urban customer as the DTH industry is coming up with better facilities to attract the urban consumers. HD channels, advertisement free viewing are the latest offerings. This will definitely increase the urban subscriber base and is good news for the Online DTH Recharge service providers. Although the failure of Tivo in U.S. and other similar services raise a question that will the audience receive these services willingly when they are charged premium prices or they will stick to their cable network service providers. Quality of service provided by these cable operators will also play a pivotal role in this transition. These factors play an important role in deciding the future of Online DTH Recharge services and it will be interesting to see how things shape up in times to come.