In case you have missed out on the media frenzy in the past few days, I would recommend you to first go through a bit of what Jio is, what it is offering to Indian consumers and why it might cause a shift in the Indian telecom market.
I am not, in this blogpost, looking at this aspect, but a completely different aspect of creating a digital revolution in India. To start with, if you have got a Jio sim, you should have seen a lot of Apps on the Play Store bundled with Jio which Reliance has been advertising. A lot of people dismiss it as bloatware, because that’s what manufacturer or service provider apps are generally :). Same happened with me, till I started exploring them and I was awestruck, so amazing. No they aren’t a technological innovation, but an economic one. I don’t speak economics, but what I know from these apps is that Reliance is trying to capture a very essential market in India, the Digital market. And it is doing in every single dimension that you can think of.
First a brief on some of the apps service model. Currently, they are provided as free to use services, and will be charged at Rs 1250/- per month according to old reports, some claiming that they will be chargeable since Jan 2017, and some claiming 2018. But nevertheless, let’s see why you would actually pay such a high amount for any service at all? It would be an embarrassing question to ask, if I asked you how many of us pay for TV shows or Music or Movies.Yup, that’s a segment that is not captured in India at all.
Let’s see some popular apps in US:
– Spotify: Unlimited music, Unlimited downloads: $10 a month
– Netflix: Unlimited movies and shows: $10 a month
This is obviously an oversimplification of what they provide, with slightly incorrect rates but you get the point. Netflix was launched in India at Rs 500/- a month a few months ago too. Jio launches their apps for Music, TV, Movies and Magazines. These are atleast the ones that caught my attention.
– Jio Music: I couldn’t believe when I saw a lot of English songs’ albums available. That’s a win if a user can legally listen to and download music on their phones. I couldn’t get any details on the number of artists that are providing their tracks here. Maybe some music junkie can do it?
– Jio TV: All the channels that came in my mind were there, that’s an impressive launch strategy for a TV app. You’ll say Star channels are missing, Nope. Just because Jio couldn’t license well with the Star system, it asks you to download the Hostar app. What next? You get a free subscription as part of Jio. So they partnered with their biggest Indian competitor.
– Jio Movies: This was quite disappointing. At the moment, I see very less number of collections. But hey, do you think with a large number of consumers, any production house will hesitate to serve movies to Reliance?
– Jio Magazines: This was again amazing. Such a large number of magazines in every domain all available for free with their latest editions.
Reliance wants to target each of these domains(possibly more in the future), and then the fee seems nominal. Maybe if you aren’t a super user, you might want to subscribe only to a single service for a lower rate.
I agree when Mukesh Ambani says that it is the world’s biggest startup. But is it worth it? I don’t know. It tries to go against multiple established companies(including telecom) and at the same time, tries to create a new unexplored economic opportunity in India. Were any startup doing it, it was bound to fail doing too many things at the same time. Can the same happen with Jio? At this moment, it doesn’t seem so. It’s apps in all the different spheres, seem to be rolling out very quickly and they don’t seem to lack in technology(as common with manufacturer apps, Samsung/Xiaomi anyone :P). It seems to have done really well in terms of licensing, which is one of the biggest factors that holds anybody from launching media related apps. Though I wouldn’t say that Jio will definitely succeed in introducing a great product in India, I would look forward for the same. 🙂
Ending quote for this one: First be rich and then do whatever you want!