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After achieving 15 million milestone in a year, Dish TV’s Watcho aims to attract parent company’s 20 million households plus families onto its platform
Here's what sets apart Dish TV's Watcho in the OTT space
Sukhpreet Singh, Corporate Head - Marketing, Dish TV India & Watcho on what sets the new OTT platform apart from its c...

After achieving 15 million milestone in a year, Dish TV’s Watcho aims to attract parent company’s 20 million households plus families onto its platform

Sukhpreet Singh, Corporate Head - Marketing, Dish TV India & Watcho on what sets the new OTT platform apart from its c...
  • Dish TV’s OTT platform Watcho recently surpassed 15 million users.
  • We caught up with Sukhpreet Singh, Corporate Head - Marketing, Dish TV India & Watcho to understand the platform's goals ahead, plan to retain its users, strategy to stand out in the clutter and vision for 2021.
Established Over-the-Top (OTT) players like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ Hotstar are working on expanding their presence in our country through innovative marketing strategies and disruptive content. At the same time, there’s a slew of new OTT players like Lionsgate Play, BookMyShow Stream, BiigBang Amusement, to name a few, that launched after COVID-19 and are trying to find a space for themselves in the highly competitive market and beat content overdose at the same time. Dish TV’s Watcho that came into inception before the lockdown towards the end of 2019, already has an edge over these newly launched platforms as it has surpassed 15 million users piggybacking on its parent company’s popularity and user base in the market.

2020’s lockdown helped the platform accelerate its growth in our country. It was when all activities went virtual, whether it be buying groceries or ordering a paracetamol, the lockdown forced the entire nation towards digitalisation. It opened up an opportunity for the OTT industry to rise to the situation and curate a seamless streaming experience for their consumers as they were quarantined 24x7.

Platforms like Watcho did not leave any stone unturned in wooing their consumers. It launched at least one original content piece per month and so far, it has launched over 35+ original shows in Hindi, Kannada, and Telugu. It also tied up with influencers to spread the word.

According to Sukhpreet Singh, Corporate Head - Marketing, Dish TV India & Watcho, what sets the new OTT platform apart from its competitors is the fact that it is catering to Dish TV’s loyal customer base and trying to position itself as a value addition to its satellite service.

Dish TV launched Watcho to progress with changing times and cater to a wider audience. Now, after achieving the 15 million milestone, Watcho is trying to get Dish TV’s user base to spend more time on its platform. It also gives its consumers a platform to express themselves through UGC and aims to establish itself as ‘all things entertainment.’

On why a DTH platform decided to launch an OTT service for its users, Singh said, “At the end of the day, our business is to provide good, wholesome entertainment and video content to our consumers and Dish TV has a very big base of consumers spread over more than 20 million households. So, if you look at the average household size, that could be probably more than 80-90 million customers who are watching us daily. Now, DTH was a new technology and Dish TV introduced DTH in India. But obviously, the technologies change as we go on. So, we still see ourselves in the business of providing video entertainment to our customers. That's what we're going with virtual and hence it's a fairly logical progression.”

Before Watcho, Dish TV had launched another online platform called Dish Online to provide live TV shows to its customers on mobile phones. The idea was to provide its customers with an option of watching while on the move or before going to bed. Watcho, on the other hand, is a 360-showcase platform.

“Watcho is a very different product, which is aimed at providing primarily good short-form exclusive content to our customers, along with various other options to engage including User Generated Content and apart from that, there is reasonably a go-to the library of other content which is also available, along with more than 100 TV channels. So, Watcho is a very comprehensive platform, which aims to serve all our customers, whatever they prefer to watch. It is watching TV, it could be reading other exclusive entertainment, it could also be uploading their creative videos. So, that's how we kind of progress from your early DTH to providing TV content on the move through Dish online to now having a comprehensive platform, which is across our connected boxes in-home, as well as on mobile,” explained Singh.

Standing out in a cluttered space

While the lockdown proved to be a blessing in disguise for OTT platforms, Singh believes that Watcho would have grown at the same trajectory despite that.

Sharing a few factors that helped Watcho stand out, Singh said, “I don't think the growth of what you can do can be attributed to the fact that there was kind of a lockdown, it is more than that. We are different from a regular OTT platform in the sense that we are catering to our consumer base. So, these are people who have already subscribed to the Dish TV, D2H. And then it is also open to other people who are not all subscribers. For our user base, it is a value add. The penetration within our user base is not complete but from here on, we want all our subscribers to regularly consume content on Watcho.”

However, it would be a challenge to retain these subscribers and get them to spend more time on the app than on a Netflix or Amazon Prime. So, to stand out, Singh has a four step plan.

“One, of course, is to keep on providing good content. Second, is that we are reaching out to a very, sharply defined audience, which is young people and millennials in Tier II, Tier III cities, which is an untapped audience in a way. The kind of content that we have, which is on the shortest form content and we provide people an opportunity to showcase their talent. That is another way that we keep on acquiring new users. And with buyers and alliances, so we have a lot of ASM alliances in the pipeline. So, these are all the pillars: Dish TV’s user base, user base to user-generated content, user base to our exclusive content partners,” shared Singh.

Some of the most popular content pieces on Watcho are its short-form stories Jaalsaazi, Sarhad, The jail planand, and It is my pleasure.

Vision for 2021

Singh’s aim for 2021 is to get Dish TV’s loyal subscribers onto Watcho and add more languages.

“Our current platforms like Dish TV and D2H, which now cater to more than 20 million-plus households and multiply that with the number of families, the average family size that it sells could be around 80 Million to 100 Million -- that’s the first addressable universe that we have. so it could be anywhere within that range, depends on how we expand. So far, we have a record number (15 million), we should be adding a few million per month. Apart from that, I think the focus has to be on providing inspirational content and expanding regional languages,” signed off Singh.