Between work and commute all day, there’s almost no time to lie back on your couch and catch up on daily soaps. The idiot box has now teleported into your mobile phones and tablets, so you don’t have to be home to catch up on Big Boss! The faster internet penetration and the increasingly affordable 3G and 4G services are leading to the shift in people’s television watching habits.
An industry study showed that more than two crore mobile internet users in India are cutting their television and newspaper consumption by 50 per cent and are shifting to mobile phones to access content.
There are a number of social media applications in the Android Play Store as well as Apple Store that are enabling this shift in consumption habits. Called ‘Pocket DTH’s’, these inbuilt television streaming apps on smartphones are going to take the country by rage over the next few years, say analysts.
A study conducted recently by market research firm IDC, China, US, India, Brazil and United Kingdom are the top markets for smartphone shipments. Although smartphone penetration in India is among the lowest in Asia, the market is said to have great potential in the near future , said IDC.
IDC says that “smartphone adoption will grow rapidly in India with the introduction of low-end smartphones priced around $100”.
Targeting mostly the youth , social application makers are offering many more than just regular television viewing features. NexGTv by DigiVive offers more than 100 popular live channels. Users can enjoy benefits of movies on demand and replay TV.
The Android Play Store also has many applications which offer television streaming. There is an Android app called Watch TV which “opens your browser and connects you to an online database of TV channels that allows you to watch TV on your Android-powered device”.
The smartphone needs to be installed with a Flash player for you to be able to watch television. There is also another application – World Streaming TV-News – which lets you to stream news online. While some of these applications are free, users will have to buy the few offering special features.
The market is also abuzz with rumours that Apple will be foraying into the television space. After the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, there are rumours that apple will launch the ‘iTv’.
In one of his interviews, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that they were actively looking at the television space. In many countries, channels / cable companies have launched applications for their shows.
For instance: a user can download an ‘HBO Go’ application and watch their shows via their smartphones.
However, in India it might be some time before these applications are adopted en masse. This is mainly due to a number of issues concerning 3G speeds and so on. The slow 3G network could hinder the streaming speed of many online channels. Many people prefer having one consolidated application that give them access to a number of channels.
The complexity of controls and the user interface of some of the apps available, makes it difficult to navigate and use regularly.