We spend 50% of marketing budgets on TV & 40% on digital: Anurag Kumar, Tata Sky

Anurag Kumar

Reinforcing its commitment towards building customer-centric innovations, Tata Sky’s Anurag Kumar gives us a sneak peek into the DTH player’s efforts towards adding new subscribers with various marketing initiatives.

As per Anurag Kumar, Chief Communications Officer, Tata Sky, the brand has been growing faster than any of its competitors. Recently it joined hands with Ogilvy India to launch a TV campaign for Tata Sky Binge+ – the Android-powered smart set-top box. In line with this development, Kumar speaks at length with Media Samosa about Tata Sky’s marketing powerplay and social media campaigns, recaps the consumption pattern, road to revival, and more.



Edited Excerpts:

What kind of consumption patterns have you observed in the last few months?

There has been a fair amount of fluctuation in the patterns of consumption. In the initial days of the lockdown, people had no choice but to sit at home and consume TV and OTT content. We saw a large set of consumers recharging their Tata sky account and the genre that saw a rise in viewership was news. In about a month or so, because the original content on HD/SD channels had dried out, many viewers deterred from recharging and moved back.

As the unlock started during mid-July, entertainment channels started showcasing new episodes and the consumption pattern was getting closer to what it was pre-COVID. We are now seeing a surge again since the IPL has kicked off. Subscriptions have kind of revived with viewership attaining normalcy.

Please brief us about Tata Sky’s content catalog at present

A week into the lockdown, we made our 10 platform and value-added services like cooking, fitness, dance which are subscription-driven completely free for our subscribers. We realized the impact of the dearth of original content on entertainment and sports and had to offer something else to the customers, give them ways to learn and educate themselves while keeping them entertained. This was continued for a period of 60-90 days.

Further, for every Tata sky subscriber, we give them the option of watching content on the mobile app, you can also share a screen that works on concurrent viewership.

In the last six months, we have also tried to make our presence felt in the OTT space with Tata sky binge which is our OTT aggregation platform. We have tie-ups with 10 premium OTT apps, which our subscribers can avail of on top of the subscription to the regular set-top box.

How do the Unlock phase marketing plans look like? Please elaborate on the media mix.

At present we are focused on our new smart set-top box – Tata Sky Binge Plus which allows users to consume content from TV and OTT sources. What we have done is to make this box very affordable, bringing the price down considerably in the last few months. We’re also offering a content package with 9 OTT apps with a free Amazon Prime Video membership for 3 months as a part of the marketing tactic.

Overall, we spend about 50% of our marketing budget on TV, 40% on digital, and 10% on remaining mediums.

Also Read: Interview: TV occupies 80% of our marketing mix says, Venkatesh Parthasarathy, Lotte India

How do you view social media as a medium to generate leads and boost engagement?

We utilize social media to drive engagement and positive sentiment based on key moments and opportunities while also ensuring that Tata Sky becomes synonymous with a greater form of entertainment.

For instance on World Music Day, we created a video based on users who are trying to sing a particular beat which we had offered to them- the campaign was called ‘Har Beat Jingalala’ where we had roped in digital celebrity Raghav Sachar. The users played a respective instrument, sang through it, we curated the best one, and created a music video.

Further, on the occasion of World Family Day, we created a little video about a family taking care of each other while watching TV. This was during the lockdown. Then recently we also celebrated the 14 years completion of Tata Sky, yet again we curated a video from our subscribers.

With IPL and festive season coinciding, how are you leveraging the opportunities?

With IPL we are leveraging our mobile app which allows co-viewing; we enabled our mobile app with a lot of features which allows people to pick their favorite teams, keep track of the matches, to do some gaming and predict scores, et al. The whole module is live on Tata Sky mobile app to engage the consumers and we are seeing a good uptake on the platform.

As far as linear TV viewing is concerned, it’s been driven through a lot of promotions which we also do on our own channels No.100 and that has seen a lot of tunings as well.

Then Tata Sky Binge Plus is one of the big festive offers which is also driving new customers to come on the platform.

How do you see the industry shaping up in the post COVID world?

Last year itself we saw the new TARIFF order coming into place which has been partially implemented as we are still waiting to understand what is going to come out of it. That’s definitely been a challenge. What we have realized is that we will have to do business in spite of the regulations and keep maneuvering our strategy.

There is an overall trend in the industry to actually upgrade from a lower quality connection such as cable and a free dish to a better one such as DTH. That’s a long-term peculiar trend in the industry since the system allows a lot of flexibility in terms of recharges, benefits et al.

In the long-term, the DTH sector within the overall TV industry continues to be secure since the people realize the added values on DTH as you get a better quality service.





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