The media investigators reported a fresh surge of covid-19 cases might see a decline of 15-20% in cable and DTH (direct-to-home) subscribers.
Although some may return once the situation improves and things go back to normal, the cycle repeats the same as last year.
Second Wave Effects On DTH Subscribers
Many consumers in low-income societies have moved out from metros to hometowns and villages with the second wave hit.
At the same time, commercial spaces like restaurants and hotels shut down for more than a month.
Shedding more further light on the case, the managing partner, west at GroupM-owned media agency MediaCom India, Vishal Shah, responded, “In metros, new cable subscribers had shown a drop over DTH specifically with the lower middle class or low-income group due to shifting back to their hometown. Those are cost-conscious customers and constitute a large proportion of subscribers in India,”.
The economic hardship may force some lower and middle-end subscribers to lose out. Still, he believes individuals and families will come back like they did last year, mentioned by Karan Taurani, the research investigator at Elara Capital Ltd.
He moreover added, “However, the challenge for DTH operators is that their premium base is skewed towards business spaces that will take longer to bounce back. Those are unlikely to detect any actual footfalls for very long,”.
Better Than Last Year
Compared to last year, which had seen a nationwide lockdown, people are considerably prepared to deal with interruptions this year, and not all activity has been paused, according to Taurani.
So far, the DTH companies like Tata Sky and Dish TV have refused to comment on the subject.
According to Global State of the Consumer Tracker, a study by professional services network Deloitte, as far as discretionary spending goes, Indians have shown the highest intent on spending on cable TV as compared to any other country globally at 38%.
The DTH’s current subscriber base increased to 70.99 million in December 2020 from 70.70 million in September 2020, as per Trai’s Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicator Report.
While the Ficci EY media and entertainment report suggest that cable saw a 3% year-on-year decline in 2020.
Digital Payment Getting Popular
“Digital payment is obtaining an important presence in semi-urban and rural markets where data connectivity is weak and the only source of infotainment is television,” Vynsley Fernandes, managing director and chief executive officer, NXT DIGITAL Ltd, said.
Here mentioned, NXT DIGITAL is a media company delivering services across cable, satellite, and broadband.
Over 90% of its subscribers pay cable operators online.
While there may have been web content discovery in smaller towns, television will continue to be the mainstay with no significant migration to streaming services, said Fernandes.