There was a time when AIR or All India Radio was the only media source for Railway passengers, during their travel. Then came walkmans, and iPods, and then smartphones, through which passengers can access content while traveling.
But soon, things will drastically change.
A new era of rail travel is being planned, wherein the passengers will have access to exclusive content, designed and made by OTT or Over the Top media companies.
But will it work? Keep reading to find out more.
Indian Railways’ Content Ambitions Via OTTs
As per reports coming in, Indian Railways will soon float out tenders for OTT players, wherein they can win ‘contracts’ to entertain rail passengers.
OTT media companies are the ones which produce and distribute content over the Internet, accessible via app/website. Examples being Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify etc.
Now, Indian Railways is planning that contracts would be given to such OTTs which will create and distribute exclusive content to rail passengers, who can access them during the journey.
Content Distribution Via OTT: How Will It Work?
Indian Railways had planned such similar monetization plan via content in 2017 as well.
That time, it was suggested that Indian Railways will provide access of content to passengers of 1400 premium trains. A special portal would have pre-loaded content such as movies, songs, games, which can be accessible to passengers of that train.
The charge for this content was planned to be levied from the passengers during the booking of tickets.
As per reports, Indian Railways had planned a 10-year contract with content providers and expected to generate revenues of Rs 6000 crore per year.
But due to lack of interest from content providers and distributors, the tenders were withdrawn.
But now, the tenders and the contracts are being re-written, and as per some sources, an advertisement based revenue model is being formulated.
Around 3 crore passengers use Indian Railways every day, and an advertisement based revenue model can push in some serious revenues for the OTT players, and for the Railways.
But, the biggest question now is, which type of content would be best suited for the rail passengers and whether Indian Railways will make arrangements for seamless Internet connectivity during the journey?
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.