Content is king as Indian operators invest in music, movies and more

Content is king as Indian operators invest in music, movies and more

The role of entertainment content in offering new revenue streams for mobile operators has again been underlined after recent deals involving Indian giants Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel and content suppliers.

Reliance Jio’s recently announced partnership with Mzaalo, a gamified video and entertainment ecosystem, involves the delivery of digital entertainment content on affordable JioPhone devices.

Underserved audiences in rural markets – many of them first-time internet users – are the target market for Mzaalo’s content catalogue and reward system. Content will be accessible to rural Indians in Hindi and nine other Indian languages.

The partnership estimates that over 150 million JioPhone users will enjoy the Mzaalo app’s content library of more than 12,000 titles, covering movies, original series and music videos. Rewards will also be offered across more than 600 brand partners.

Not to be outdone, Bharti Airtel has announced an agreement with over-the-top (OTT) entertainment platform Eros Now, for the relaunched Airtel Xstream Premium video streaming service. This partnership, Eros Now has said, will allow it to expand its reach by tapping into Airtel’s vast customer base of over 300 million users.

Again a vast content library of music, movies and more across languages and genres will be available to customers, along with a simplified search, customized recommendations, and single access login on the Airtel Xstream Premium app on mobile and large screens.

Airtel also has partnerships with major OTT apps Netflix, Disney Hotstar and Amazon Prime, but, according to India’s Economic Times news service, it hopes to sign up 20 million new users for Xstream Premium.

These two deals follow another significant content-related piece of news: the announcement earlier this week of a Jio Platforms investment of $200 million for a 17% stake in Google-backed consumer internet company Glance, which allows users to consume personalized content even with a locked smartphone screen. The deal will allow Glance to be integrated into the Pragati OS, co-developed by Jio Platforms and Google.

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