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DTH has helped link the aspiration of the rural viewer to the urban areas.
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DTH has helped link the aspiration of the rural viewer to the urban areas. “It becomes a vehicle for advertising reach and advertising sows the seeds of want and desire,” says Harish Bijoor, brand domain-specialist and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults.

Brands are then able to forge a deeper relationship with rural consumers through these messages. With rural incomes on the rise, this newfound awareness about brands hitherto alien to them, is fueling consumerism. Interestingly, through the DTH medium, brands can reach out to specific demographics. “We can target ads to particular set top boxes,” says Banerji. Airtel DTH uses its set top box’ boot up screen for static advertising.

For people in the rural areas, DTH today is much more than just entertainment. It is a source of information, their connection to the outside world. “They are in touch with latest trends, information, technology, the latest in education and agriculture through the TV screen,” says Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer of Dish TV. TV ownership in rural and semi-urban areas has grown from 22% in at the turn of millennium to about 35% at present. Even for big brands like LG, about 15% of their revenues come from the rural market today.

If you want to reach out the bottom of the pyramid, TV and mobile play a huge role. The spread of these two mediums has meant evolution of the consumer here. They now understand what prepaid payment, e-recharges mean and also how to use the call centre. They are using the handset to reach the doctor, the trader, the stockbroker, to get updates on prices of rice, wheat, pulses and other commodities and to even do their banking.

In the mobile segment, Tata Teleservices has seen faster subscriber growth from rural and semi-urban markets over the last one year. Interestingly, for the telecom industry, close to 70% of the new subscribers are now coming from these areas.

According to a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India report, rural subscription grew at the rate of 16% in the quarter ending March 2010 while in the same period, urban subscriptions grew at the rate of 9.1%. The share of rural wireless subscription in overall wireless subscriptions has increased from 28.5% in March 2009 to 32.7% in March 2010.

For the small businessman in the villages, mobile penetration is a boon, says Lloyd Mathias, chief marketing officer, Tata Teleservices. He is now able to connect with more suppliers and clients to grow his business unlike earlier when he was solely dependent on the larger businessman to hand him down work.


Most villagers use CFL bulbs while some have installed solar panels to beat erratic power supply after they came to know about subsidy schemes on TV. Jai Ballabh, a resident of the village has upgraded to a colour TV with a DTH connection, and his family and neighbours know a lot more about different models of cars, soaps, toothpaste, bicycles, chips and other FMCG and durable products.

This is the power of communication. The village consumer is now empowered because of the kind of media he is exposed to. He is now the target of ads, television serials, car companies, food majors, telecom and durable firms. “DTH is going to those areas where there was no TV hitherto. This also meant that people didn’t buy colour TVs,” says Sugato Banerji, chief marketing officer, DTH services at Bharti Airtel. The villager instead bought a black & white TV with a local DVD player and watched pirated movies. With DTH, he now gets 125 channels at almost the same cost. Statistics back Mr Banerji’s argument. For, about 60% of Airtel DTH’s sales comes from tier-III and below towns.

DTH has helped link the aspiration of the rural viewer to the urban areas. “It becomes a vehicle for advertising reach and advertising sows the seeds of want and desire,” says Harish Bijoor, brand domain-specialist and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults.

Brands are then able to forge a deeper relationship with rural consumers through these messages. With rural incomes on the rise, this newfound awareness about brands hitherto alien to them, is fueling consumerism. Interestingly, through the DTH medium, brands can reach out to specific demographics. “We can target ads to particular set top boxes,” says Banerji. Airtel DTH uses its set top box’ boot up screen for static advertising.

For people in the rural areas, DTH today is much more than just entertainment. It is a source of information, their connection to the outside world. “They are in touch with latest trends, information, technology, the latest in education and agriculture through the TV screen,” says Salil Kapoor, chief operating officer of Dish TV. TV ownership in rural and semi-urban areas has grown from 22% in at the turn of millennium to about 35% at present. Even for big brands like LG, about 15% of their revenues come from the rural market today.

If you want to reach out the bottom of the pyramid, TV and mobile play a huge role. The spread of these two mediums has meant evolution of the consumer here. They now understand what prepaid payment, e-recharges mean and also how to use the call centre. They are using the handset to reach the doctor, the trader, the stockbroker, to get updates on prices of rice, wheat, pulses and other commodities and to even do their banking.

In the mobile segment, Tata Teleservices has seen faster subscriber growth from rural and semi-urban markets over the last one year. Interestingly, for the telecom industry, close to 70% of the new subscribers are now coming from these areas.

According to a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India report, rural subscription grew at the rate of 16% in the quarter ending March 2010 while in the same period, urban subscriptions grew at the rate of 9.1%. The share of rural wireless subscription in overall wireless subscriptions has increased from 28.5% in March 2009 to 32.7% in March 2010.

For the small businessman in the villages, mobile penetration is a boon, says Lloyd Mathias, chief marketing officer, Tata Teleservices. He is now able to connect with more suppliers and clients to grow his business unlike earlier when he was solely dependent on the larger businessman to hand him down work.

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