I did wonder what was cooking when Aamir first appeared in the Tata Sky Plus teasers. But in the end, i felt that with this different service (a personal video revorder, that allows you to pause, record and rewind Live TV), and two brand ambassadors, they could’ve really made a great, extended storyline out of the entire thing. Roughly put, approach the ‘centre’ from both Aamir and Gul’s perspectives, and then show them together to give an ‘Ah’ moment to the viewer. I wonder whether the recent Airtel experience scared them away from using the teaser concept for too long, but with two celebrities, they really needn’t have worried.

httpv://in.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nTg6bJRPE

The TVC storyline was quite decent, and brought out the concept well, though we did have an interesting discussion on whether Gul Panag ended up looking like Freddie Mercury (with the moustache) in ‘ I want to break free’. The ‘landing page’ of existing Tata Sky users also has an interesting conversation between Gul and her friends, which again brings out the features of the service quite well.

Considering that Dish TV now has a 53% market share in the DTH market (via Trak.in) the upgradation strategy is a smart move. The kind of audience that would go in for a DTH service should easily consider upgradation, only, the future of TiVo ( the pioneer of a comparable service in the US market, the biggest difference being ability to forward Live TV – yes, skip ads!! ) is far from rosy, if we go by this report from Wired. Apparently only 3.6 million of the nation’s 36.2 million DVR users go for TiVo, after 11 years of existence. Also, their revenue model is shaky, with advertisers not too interested in the kind of units it offers. But TiVo’s been trying hard, and have ties with Amazon and Netflix, to allow TV users to stream movies and TV shows. Netflix uses postal delivery, online streaming, a set top movie player and HD streaming as methods of didtribution.

In the light of this tie up, it was interesting to see a local tie up made between NDTV Lumiere and BigFlix, by which some titles from NDTV Lumiere’s extensive acquisition list will be available on the bigflix site on download to rent/own options. It’s an addition to BigFlix’s existing portfolio. With BigTV, this is like TiVo having the resources of NetFlix inhouse. Thats BIG. Comparing the net penetration and DTH penetration in India, perhaps BigFlix would expand faster on the DTH tie up route, than a net downloads route.

But yes, if the internet penetration in India shoots up drastically, we can see a different kind of tie ups happening, like the one between MSN and Endemol, for an online interactive show. I also read about a service called Clearleap (via Startup Meme), which delivers videos from numerous sources to the television, thereby expanding consumer options.

With Tata Sky Plus being an upgrade from regular DTH, it will be interesting to see how fast Big counters, and whether it adds a tie up with BigFlix. Tata Sky meanwhile, perhaps needs to scout quickly to figure out a good partner to strengthen its offering.

until next time, watch it