India's Largest Digital Content Marketplace

Aggregating digital content and providing the means of consumer consumption of the content will make Jio not just a mobile telecom company but an online marketplace of digital content.

With a slew of content deals with the top broadcasters and film banners already under its belt, Reliance Jio is on its way to be the largest content aggregator in India, reports Times of India. The new telco has already signed deals with top broadcasters Star India, Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE), Sony Pictures Networks India, and its sister company Network18, besides top Bollywood studios such as Eros International, Shemaroo, Balaji Telefilms, Venus and Rajshri Productions, to get content on its platform.

"We are providing very high speed data and expect more and more users to experience it," a Jio official said, adding that video content is crucial for this. When Mukesh Ambani announced the launch of Jio at Reliance Industries' annual general meeting last week, the euphoria was about free high-speed data for the first three months and thereon at an affordable price.

A robust content bouquet to get users to use more and more data is a key strategy in the telco's scheme of things. "Reliance Jio's plan is clear — offer high speed data, top it up with content, and make them habitual. Once a consumer starts consuming more content, automatically his or her data usage goes up," an analyst said. In fact, Jio has managed to procure content from players that have so far refused or been reluctant to share their content with other aggregators. Star India, which had removed its content from all other platforms since the launch of its video-on-demand app Hotstar, is available on Jio app.

Similarly, Eros Now, the subscription-led digital on-demand app, and its content is available for free on Jio On-demand for consumers, along with older TV shows and music videos. "Unlike on other platforms like Airtel , where a consumer has to subscribe to our service, here Jio will pay us and consumer can access the content," Jyoti Deshpande, group CEO at Eros International, told ET. Jio is offering over 360 linear channels, including 30+ in HD, live on its app Jio TV, with a 7-day catch-up option. These include all channels from Star India, ZEE, Viacom18 and Sony . Ashish Pherwani, leader — advisory services, media and entertainment, at consulting firm EY, feels that content is a good strategy for Jio. "There will be a lot of first-time users of high speed internet and it's good to convert those customers into long-term users by catering to their entertainment consumption needs," he said.

SJP @DigitalAsian

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