Airtel Launches Airtel TV, But Does it Stand a Chance Against Netflix and Other VoD Platforms?
Telecoms giant, Airtel Nigeria, has launched its video streaming app, AirtelTV. The Television app which is currently available for download is expected to be a one-stop platform for all visuals including music videos, news, sports and live TV.
AirtelTV will be available to only Airtel subscribers across the country and will come at no subscription fee. This means, as long as you’re a registered Airtel customer, you’ll be able to stream freely.
The television app, which is available on Android and iOS, is subscription-free and offers registered users unlimited access to the entire Airtel TV content library as well as enables them stream different content categories on the robust 4G network.Airtel Nigeria Chief Commercial Officer, Dinesh Balsingh
The model Airtel intends to adopt with AirtelTV seems to revolve around getting more internet subscribers for Airtel broadband. The only way to access the service is to be a registered Airtel user. And as Mr Balsingh said and confirmed by one reviewer, AirtelTV only comes on if a user is browsing with Airtel internet network.
“Since the app will not work with my WiFi, I’ll definitely not be trying this anytime soon with my very limited Internet data volume,” Ayodele Apata who tried to use the service says.
Oliver Twist Users ask for More
While Airtel promised a lot, feedback from airtel subscribers who have used the new app however show that people expect more from AirtelTV if it hopes to claim a solid stand in the Video-on-Demand (VoD) market.
“The app is missing hot channels like BBC, sports and entertainment channels,” Zed Marshall said. “Then the movies streaming are (sic) a little bit old fashioned. Try putting something of our time. A lot needs to be done for this app to earn a 5 star rating.”
“Terrible and wouldn’t connect,” another user, Kamono Chilwa says. “It has a narrow selection of content and worst of all no real sport channels.”
Even though Mr Balsingh claims Airtel has partnered with top content providers like Trace, Bollywood, Al Jazeera and others, a cross-section of reviews clearly reveal that people expect more interesting channels to be added to the app to make it more useful.
It is possible that the content partnerships have not yet kicked off in earnest and Airtel is still testing the waters. It is also possible that AirtelTV just isn’t ready for the competition.
“I saw the advert about this app on Instagram, I rushed it thinking it was some stuff like Netflix, only to download this and see nonsense.”Reviewer on Playstore
There are also some positive feedbacks from users of the app although it still ends with a need to improve on its content.
“Thanks so much for bringing this app,” Victor said. “It is very interesting, everything is clear. I now have entertainment everywhere I go. I love it. But you should just add super sports. Cheers otherwise.”
It’s too early to decide if AirtelTV is here to stay. While making the app free could attract a large number of new and willing subscribers, the service will require quality and up-to-date content to keep those subscribers.
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