Tata Play to help Bangladesh's Akash Digital launch OTT service in the country

The increased capacity will allow Tata Play to offer more channels and services and better picture quality, MD and CEO Harit Nagpal said
The increased capacity will allow Tata Play to offer more channels and services and better picture quality, MD and CEO Harit Nagpal said

Summary

  • With this collaboration between Akash Digital and Tata Play, the Bangladeshi DTH company will be able to expand its offerings beyond traditional DTH services to include streaming content accessible on mobile devices.

Bangladesh-based Akash Digital TV, a subsidiary of BEXIMCO Communications Limited, has teamed up with Tata Play (formerly Tata Sky) to leverage the Indian company's binge platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution for the launch of its new OTT service, Akash Go.

With this collaboration, the Bangladeshi direct-to-home (DTH) TV service provider is looking to expand its offerings beyond traditional DTH services to include streaming content accessible on mobile devices.

The Akash Go app, inspired by Tata Play's mobile application in India, will allow subscribers in Bangladesh to access a range of OTT applications, live channels, and video-on-demand services. It will also feature personalised recommendations based on the viewing history of each user, enhancing their experience.

Also read: Tata Play Binge offers PaaS to go global

“Our clients understand their customer base and their preferences profoundly. We are offering a platform that aggregates content from various apps, enhancing the relevance for their subscribers. While striking deals with apps and acquiring customers are relatively straightforward, the real challenge lies in providing robust 24/7 hosting with an advanced recommendation engine and comprehensive backend support," said Harit Nagpal, managing director and chief executive of Tata Play to Mint.

Been there, done that

Bangladesh—that has a market reminiscent of India from 15 years ago when the TV-viewing landscape was predominantly analogue—presents a significant opportunity for both the companies.

“As we make our foray into Bangladesh, we find potential partners eager for our platform. However, they seek proof of concept; they need assurance that we can deliver this platform effectively from India," Nagpal said.

“Our offering is economically structured, combining a fixed cost with subscriber numbers, disconnected from what their subscribers pay. This makes it a cost-effective solution for them, both in terms of quicker market entry and easier platform management," he added.

Also read: Why Harit Nagpal of Tata Play loves field visits

Nagpal further added that the Binge PaaS solution provides three core benefits: “Firstly, our platform is uniquely tailored to address customer needs, making content discovery straightforward. Secondly, it's a robust platform, rigorously tested over three years, ensuring what we call a 'zero defect' experience. Thirdly, the deployment speed is unmatched—we can have the platform operational in 3-4 months at a fraction of the usual cost".

More bang for the same buck

Additionally, Nagpal explained that the company has refined its go-to-market strategy through various experiments that it shares with its partners. “This includes insights on marketing the platform effectively and creating customer acquisition packages that resonate with target audiences," he said.

With Akash Go, DTH subscribers can live stream TV channels on their mobile phones at no extra cost, as the service is included within the existing DTH standard pack subscription.

"Akash Go is introduced as a companion app. It will aggregate a blend of local and global premium content libraries, delivering live TV as a secondary screen and digital content on subscribers' iOS or android devices," noted Dr Tariq Alam, chief executive officer of Akash Digital TV.

Value proposition

Last year, Tata Play introduced its Binge PaaS as a white-label solution aimed at OTT aggregators worldwide. 

The platform simplifies the content access process for users by consolidating multiple OTT channels into a single interface, which streamlines operations for content partners and enhances subscriber engagement. 

The first deployment under this arrangement was with the Philippines' leading pay-TV service provider, Cignal TV, which is expected to be launched to the public soon.

Also read: Tata Play brings Prime Video to Binge; offers multiple OTT bundles

Nagpal had told Mint at the time, “After perfecting our service over the years, we are now offering this platform-as-a-service, allowing global players to launch an aggregator app quickly and economically. We manage the end-to-end technology platform over the cloud, sharing our expertise in commercial partnerships, recommendation engines, subscription management and analytics with our partners."

Tata Play's Binge content aggregator platform, initially launched in 2020 for its DTH customers, was extended to non-DTH users earlier this year, reflecting its growing versatility and appeal. 

Nagpal had added at the time that Tata Play was in discussions with 11 more potential partners in various markets for similar collaborations, although it would partner with only one player per market.

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