Subscriber base of DD FreeDish is projected to reach 40 million users base in the next two–three years, suggests an EY report. In the latest round of bidding for slots on FreeDish held on July 4, 2017, broadcasters paid Rs. 85 crore as carriage fee for 11 slots. ICICI Securities points out that the rise in FTA channels has been driven by BARC’s, measurement of ratings in rural India.
As per the ICICI Securities report, the FTA advertising market which was pegged at Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 crore CY16, is expected to grow to Rs. 800 to rs. 1000 crore by end of CY17. Advertising rates too have gone up in the last one year by 100 percent. Currently a 10-second ad spot during prime-time on FTA channels costs anywhere in the range of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 compared to the rate of Rs. 5000 to rs. 10,000, till December last year. Compared to this, a 10-second ad spot during prime time on Star Plus, and Zee TV costs between Rs. 80,000 and Rs. 1 lakh.
FTA market has become important, with the rise in subscriber base. However, viewers are going through a transition, as FTA is the first step in TV viewing before they migrate to paid platforms.