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Will the DTH be replaced by OTT in the near future or is it a fad?

DTH is the Direct to Home which we inundate using a dish placed on top of our homes and offices. On the other hand, OTT is Over the Top media which we consume on the internet. DTH offers channels like Sony, star etc, on the other hand OTT consists of apps like Youtube, Netflix, etc.

Post the arrival of OTT, the situation for DTH in this changing scenario is becoming very bad. According to a recent report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the average active subscriber base of DTH services has seen a sharply declined by 25 percent, which came down to 54.26 million in April to June quarter in comparison to 72.44 million in January to March this year.

This coincides with the new DTH tariff regime implemented recently. The decline in subscriber base highlights the challenges faced by DTH operators during the transition to new tariff regime.

Meanwhile the rise of OTT services also seems to have impacted the DTH subscription numbers. With high competition in the segment , OTT service providers give consumers a combination of both attractive content and subscription package. However regulation for OTT platforms continues to remain an aggressive issue with the govt mulling over it’s options.

A recent survey suggests that almost 55% Indians prefer OTT over DTH services and almost 87% of Indians use mobile to watch videos these days.

Another difference between OTT and DTH is content. We can say that DTH has become very saturated over time. New stories are not coming, and innovations are also not happening. OTT is just the exact opposite in this case. There is so much content on the Over the Top platform of all genres. You won’t be able to scroll even one 1/100th of the total content available. Every day OTT platforms release a variety of content to stay ahead in the competition.

DTH is completely censored. Every show which gets live on a DTH service has to pass through censorship. On the other side, OTT is completely uncensored. Shows on the OTT platform can contain any bad scenes. In the case of DTH, we can enjoy the shows with our family members. Although Over the Top platforms have very few family shows as they contain slang and abusive.

Now in OTT platforms usually do not serve you Ads on a premium subscription. They give a free trial for a month or two in which they may show some ads. This trial period is essential for the consumer to decide whether he needs the premium plan. Now, this is the system of ads under OTT.

On the other hand, the case with DTH is just the opposite. If the TV show is 30 minutes then these DTH platforms will show you at least 10 to 15 minutes of ads. This comes under the benefit of Over the Top platforms. But if you see the better side of Ads, they help you to keep yourself updated.

Language barrier
In DTH platforms, the content is broadcasted from a base station to the set-top box. The language of the content being broadcasted is fixed, and it cant be changed. For instance, if the content is broadcasted in English then you wont be able to change its language to Hindi by any means.

This exactly the opposite in the case of OTT platforms. You can adjust the language according to your needs if the title supports it.

So the biggest question which arises is that, can OTT replace DTH services?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. For short term, No! and for Long term, Yes!.

The biggest factor here is the generation gap. Gen-Z is seriously not interested in DTH platforms. But the previous generation hesitates to use the OTT platforms because they aren’t user friendly. The second reason is of choice. If a person is only interested in watching the news, then DTH will be a perfect option for him, and Over the Top will be useless as all the news channels on DTH platforms are free. They can fulfil their needs and remain on a low budget at the same time. We are addicted to over the top platforms, but the generation just above us is not. So we can conclude that for the next 20 to 30 years. At the same time, it will keep evolving through these years. The Statesman

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