Paytm to foray into video streaming service

Paytm has been toying with the idea of adding video streaming services as part of its offering to enlarge customer engagement on its platform. Amazon set the example by adding Amazon Prime video to its ecommerce customers, rivals like Flipkart and Paytm have been wondering what they can do to counter the incentive being offered by Amazon. Though it is a paid subscription, by offering free and faster delivery of ordered goods, the customers see this as a win-win formula. A similar program being run by Flipkart has not been as successful.

How much of a success Paytm’s over the top (OTT) video streaming service brings is something to be watched. As it is, the company is learnt to have taken the first steps towards this additional feature on its platform by setting in motion the recruitment process to handle the functions. Paytm is backed by SoftBank of Japan and Alibaba of China. The investors have been exerting some pressure on Paytm to go in for the video streaming service, earlier reports had suggested.

In the form of entertainment, Paytm has an ongoing arrangement with Yupp TV allowing access to Paytm customers to view some channels.

Flipkart is reportedly mulling a similar product like Amazon Prime on its website and some action may be seen in the coming months.

There are primarily two reasons for the ecommerce players to consider adding the OTT video streaming service to their customers. One is the inherent taste among the Indians for entertainment content of this nature. This has been further fuelled by the availability of smartphones and cheap internet connectivity. The other is the marketing strategy to make the customers stay on in the app on their mobiles for a longer duration. This helps in translating the time spent on the app to increased business over time.

The important challenge in front of Paytm will be to source the contents. Companies like Amazon have invested heavily in the Indian market to create localised content and top Bollywood players have been roped in to make serials. Paytm has the option of tying up with the established players like Netflix and offer access to their customers either on a subsidized rate or linked to business transacted on Paytm Mall.

There is no official confirmation on these plans from Paytm officially yet.

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