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Idea plans to charge customers for its OTT services soon

MUMBAI: Almost 10 months after launching three OTT services Idea Movies & Live TV, Idea Music, and Idea Games, Aditya Birla Group-owned telecom operator Idea Cellular is planning to start charging for these services. The three OTT apps are currently available for free on a promotional basis.

“On promotional basis, these apps are currently offered free to Idea Subscribers and soon company will be offering these at competitive pricing,” the company said in its quarterly report for the period ending 30 September.

With the launch of these apps the company has taken one more step towards transformation from a pure play mobile operator to an integrated digital services and solutions provider, Idea added.

On 30 January, Idea had launched these digital content applications as a one-stop entertainment destination initially for Idea subscribers, providing access on the fingertips to a large collection of popular and premium content, including a rich assortment of Hindi, Vernacular and International content.

Idea Music Lounge, Idea Movie Club, and Idea Game Spark offer a complete suite of digital entertainment services which has been availed by over 10 million Idea subscribers, the company said.

Idea Movie & Live TV

As of September 30, 2017 over 4.5 million customers have installed the app. Idea Movie & Live TV caters to the ever-growing video content needs of consumers, offering 5,500+ blockbuster movies, 252 Live TV channels, 7 days catch-up TV, along with a series of original content and short videos across all genres and several languages.

The app offers over 15,000 hours of content including Bollywood, South Indian & Regional Cinema, animation and learning videos. It also offers Live and Catch up TV including premium channels, is offered in collaboration with dittoTV and YuppTV. The app is available on Google Play Store and iOS store.

Idea Music

Idea Music offers a library of nearly three million Indian and international music tracks, which will be expanded to nearly 20 million tracks soon and is available on Google Play Store and iOS store.

Idea Music Lounge hosts diverse content not only across 13 Indian languages, including Bollywood, and South Indian Cinema but also across International artists, albums and tracks from several major Music labels. As of September 30, 2017 over 4.5 million customers have installed the app.

Idea Games

Idea Games is being built as the gaming destination with a collection of nearly 2,000 games across all genres. Targeted at the gaming aficionado and the casual gamer, these games can be played both in the online and offline mode. As of September 30, 2017 nearly 1.5 million customers have installed the Idea Game Spark app.

Currently, most of the telecom operators bundle their OTT services with data packages. The telcos are building their own OTT products by acquiring third-party content to fuel data usage.

Reliance Jio Infocomm owns a suite of OTT platforms including JioTV, Jio Music, Jio Cinema, and Jio XpresNews.

Jio TV offers more than 500 TV channels while Jio Cinema offers 1 lakh+ hours of content like movies, TV Shows, music videos, clips, and trailers. Jio Music comes packed with 1 crore+ songs covering across all languages, genres, moods and artists.

Jio Xpress News is a news app which gives access to 500+ Newspapers, News channels, Magazines, famous Blogs, and News websites from India and across the world.

Similarly, telecom major Airtel offers OTT services like Airtel TV, Wynk Music and Airtel Games. Airtel TV app also has third party apps like Hooq, Eros Now, and SonyLIV sitting inside it. The third party apps are available on a subscription basis.

Vodafone had last year entered the field with Vodafone Play, which offers 300+ Live Streaming of HD & SD TV Channels in 14 languages; International & Indian TV Shows and also has a catalogue of over 14,000 movies across languages. It also has content from original creators and assimilators Eros Now, Ditto TV, Hooq, Hungama play,
AltBalaji, and Yupp TV.

Recently, it had partnered Netflix to exclusively offer Vodafone Red postpaid customers a complimentary Netflix subscription of up to one year on select Red Plans.

It has also partnered with Magzter to provide Vodafone customers access over 100,000 issues of 4,000+ best-selling International, Indian and Regional magazines across the globe.

Vodafone Games, which was launched in partnership with Opera, is an online gaming platform that lets customers access a premium catalogue of 400+ popular games.