Bharti Airtel launches on-demand movies and TV in India, but will it work?

Bharti Airtel launches on-demand movies and TV in India, but will it work?

Bharti Airtel has launched an online Movie-on-Demand offering called “Airtel Movies“.

Partnering with BigFlix, one of India’s largest movie rental services, this service will be exclusively available as an add-on pack for Airtel customers and will offer high quality video content including 500+ movies; 100 television shows; movie trailers and music videos for Rs 229 per month ($5/month) with no additional bandwidth charges.

Airtel also notes that this service will be completely ad-free and the charges will be incorporated in your monthly broadband bill.

Mr. Girish Mehta, Chief Marketing Officer, Telemedia Services, Bharti Airtel said:

“The launch of ‘Airtel Movies’ comes on the back of a  rousing response to our recent offerings of Airtel broadband TV and Airtel Photos and is in line with our commitment of enabling our customers in doing more with the Internet. Airtel has always led the way in bringing in innovative services through industry leading partnerships. We are confident that this service will enrich our customer’s lives and enable them to balance their work, family and entertainment needs by transforming their experience from appointment viewing to one of choice. We will look to continuously refresh content in response to feedback and customer needs.”

Enabling the service

If you are a Airtel broadband customer, simply head over to Airtel Movies website and sign up by clicking on the “Login” link.

You will then receive an activation code via your email address and mobile number, which you can further use to activate your account, select a subscription pack and confirm your subscription.

You will then receive a confirmation email and a text message from Airtel with all the requisite details.

Will It Work?

Although the service looks promising, we are not sure whether it will gain substantial adoption in India.

Firstly, Airtel hasn’t rolled out its broadband service to several parts of India and there seems to be no effort from Airtel to improve the situation. Hence, from an user point or view, it makes no sense to opt for this service where there is no broadband coverage.

Secondly, India still has one of the lowest Internet penetration levels worldwide, with over 35% of Internet connections having a speed of 256 kbps or less and only 0.4% percent of the users fancying a internet connection with 5 mbps speed or more. Therefore, a decent movie experience with no buffering is still a far fetched dream.

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