Saturday, October 11, 2008

First time Internet experience would be through TV in Rural India

Many venture capitalists believe that the first Computing/Internet experience for rural Indians  (or broadly, most Indians) would be through Mobile. However, as I see, this is only partially true. 

DTH players such as Airtel Digital TV, BIG TV,  DishTV, TataSky etc all are already in tie-ups with India's major Internet players such as Shaadi, MakemyTrip, Indiatimes Shopping, BookmyShow (for movie tickets), Edurite (online education), MapmyIndia, multiple gaming companies etc in order to bring Internet experience to larger audience. In fact, Airtel plans to activate its Airtel Live (mobile VAS) to its DigitalTV subscribers.

Particularly women, children will get the first hand experience of Internet through these TV services. This experience makes them familiar with Mobile Value Added Services and in turn to the grand daddy of all, Computer + Internet.

Although DTH is mostly urban phenomenon so far, but services like Railway ticketing, Matrimonials, Astrology, Education, Religious services, Games, Maps,  on-demand movies, etc would be attractive to rural users and in particular to children and house-hold women. In this regard, local language is the first requirement (currently it is all in English).

So this means, TV--> Mobile --> Computer is the Internet-learning-cycle. And so, many business opportunities (new mode of distribution) exist for all those Internet companies who tie-up with these Cable/DTH/IPTV service providers.