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Airtel’s Xstream play OTT platform poised for 20 million paid subscribers

Xstream Play is an OTT platform run by Airtel, similar to JioTV and JioCinema by Jio. It is exclusive to Airtel users and offers a wide range of content from its partner services such as SonyLIV, Eros, etc. Airtel Xstream Play also has a premium subscription which gives access to exclusive content and popular series and movies.

With the increasing deployment of 5G networks across the country, Airtel expects that OTT consumption in the country will grow at a rapid pace. The company will be expanding its partnerships with media houses to grow its in-house streaming service.

Airtel Xstream Play Aims For 20 Million Paid Subscribers
Adarsh Nair, CEO of Airtel Digital, shared the plans for Airtel Xstream Play expansion in an interview with the Economic Times. Adarsh said that Airtel will focus on regional content, and will conduct more partnerships with other media houses to expand the library of Airtel Xstream.

As of today, Airtel Xstream Play has 5 million paying subscribers, which gives users access to a wide library of content, directly on the app. Airtel’s current OTT partners are Sony LIV, Lionsgate Play, Chaupal, Hoichoi, FanCode, ManoramaMax, Shemaroo, Alt Balaji, Ultra, Eros, EPICon, Docubay, and Playflix.

Adarsh says that Airtel is expecting to grow this number to 20 million paying subscribers. He also said that the customer acquisition cost for Airtel is currently negligible, and the company doesn’t have to spend much on the technology part of Xstream Play.

Xstream Play is exclsuive for Airtel customers. Any user who has an active connection of Airtel SIM/DTH/Fiber can register on the platform, and access the content. The platform also has a free library. The paid plans of Airtel Xstream Play are as follows:

  • Rs 149 plan: 30 days validity
  • Rs 1499 plan: 365 days validity

Xstream Play is available for free to Airtel Black customers.

Airtel is also working on a new companion app, which will help Airtel DTH users view their purchased channels directly on their mobile phones. The concept is currently under development, and Adarsh did not share a specific launch timeline for the same.

5G Will Increase OTT Consumption on TV
Airtel recently started rolling out its 5G-powered FWA services, called Xstream AirFiber. The system offers a broadband-like internet experience to users, without the need for optic fiber availability in their locality.

Adarsh said that 4G helped users to adopt OTT consumption on their moile phones. With the rollout of Xstream AirFiber and 5G, the consmutpiton of OTT content will shift from mobile phones to TV.

As per Counterpoint Research, the smart TV market in India has grown 28% on a YoY basis. With increasing number of smart TVs in the country, Airtel is expecting four fold growth in the adoption of Xstream Fiber, which will drive an increase in OTT consumption on TVs.

Airtel is currently the second biggest cellular operator in India, just behind Jio. Both telecom giants have followed an ecosystem model, by offering a bundle of cellular, broadband, and OTT services. Together, Airtel and Jio have a market share of 82% in cellular services in India, as per TRAI data. MySmartPrice

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