Bharti Airtel is eyeing the fast-growing over-the-top (OTT) video market not as a service provider but as an end-to-end infrastructure and solution provider to mid and small scale companies looking to launch their video streaming services in the South East Asian region.
The telecom operator has already bagged business from three companies, including a Nepalese telecom company for their respective OTT services. Raj TV, Eros Now and CG Telecom of Nepal have already deployed Bharti Airtel’s new solution.
The CPaaS platform allows companies to launch video streaming products for large and small screens with minimal investment in infrastructure and technology. Airtel IQ Video encompasses a variety of features ranging from app development, content hosting, curation and lifecycle management to search and discovery, analytics and monetisation models (advertising, subscriptions, transactions).
Airtel has claimed that its Airtel IQ Video will help companies launch their services at 40% lesser cost. Traditionally, three to four vendors are required to launch and manage the service, which is not feasible for mid and small scale companies.
India’s video OTT market is expected to touch $12.5 billion by 2030, from $1.5 billion, currently, as per a report by RBSA Advisors. The report also highlighted that the next wave of growth in the OTT landscape would come from tier II, III and IV cities and regional languages at the centre of this growth story.
Keeping these changing trends in sight, Airtel said that existing regional OTTs are looking to scale their technology platforms to accommodate the rising number of users. Traditional content providers such as regional TV broadcasters are looking to digitise their content libraries through OTT applications.
Airtel said that it is currently working with large-scale companies but will soon start working with small and medium enterprises and startups in this space.
“Airtel IQ Video brings an easy-to-use platform that can enable anyone to quickly build and scale their business in video streaming. This will encourage enterprises to focus on content while Airtel IQ Video anchors the end-to-end technology ensuring a great viewing experience for customers,” Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said.
He added that Airtel IQ Video would allow more content startups and traditional content companies to come online and directly engage with consumers digitally.
Nair said that Airtel is in talks with various companies, including broadcast companies, news channels, OTTs, education companies in India, and other regions and is expecting to onboard over 50 customers in the next 12 months. The telecom operator is also looking to take its offering to markets like the US and Europe.
Airtel had in October 2020 launched its Airtel IQ cloud communications offering to tap the $1billion cloud communications market. The offering is aimed at enterprises and small-medium enterprises in the country.
The latest video as a service offering is a part of its Airtel IQ portfolio being offered by its enterprise arm, Airtel Business.
Nair said that the telecom operator has experience in the video space with its streaming platform, Airtel Xstream. He said that Airtel has taken four years to build the platform for its service and is now ready to offer the entire stack as a platform to other companies.
“We had a content library of over 30,000 hours with some of the best Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam films. But most of this content was on tapes or analogue formats, and audiences also want to access these through OTT. Using Airtel IQ Video, we have been able to digitise our content, host it on Airtel’s cloud platforms and offer it to audiences both in India and across the globe through our own OTT app,” M Raajhendhran, managing director, Raj Television Network said in a statement.
Niravana Chaudhary, managing director of Nepal’s CG Group, said the company is launching IPTV and video OTT platforms as part of its telco offering in Nepal. “Airtel IQ Video will power both our video OTT app and IPTV, bringing seamless streaming to our customers in Nepal on devices of their choice,” he said.
Ali Hussein, CEO, Eros Now, said Bharti Airtel’s infrastructure and extensive network coverage has been helping the company deliver blockbuster content seamlessly to the end consumers.