WorldSpace Satellite Radio - Future in India
Future of WorldSpace Satellite radio receiver in India is not so bright right now but there are some steps to be taken by WordSpace which can increase or enhance its usability in India. Read more........
When Worldspace made its entry in 2000 into the Indian market, the receivers were of world reputed brands like Hitachi, National Panasonic, Sanyo and JVC and the time was that when CD players, CDs and music systems were expensive. Had Worldspace put right marketing blitz at that period, they could have made great numbers by this time.
Now the situation is reversed. Worldspace has got receivers of unknown international brands and Indian made by BPL which has no stand in the audio market. As an alternative mode of entertainment, it proves costlier when VCD players, CDs and music systems are dirt-cheap and MP3 giving great choice. The latest threat is from Radio channels on DTH TV. Subscription mode is the last straw on camel's back.
Yes, the receivers on offer now are not of the quality as when WS was first launched. I was lucky enough to get a JVC receiver in the very beginning of WS and I am very happy with it till date.
I feel one cannot compare WS with CD's, Mp3 players and DTH-TV, as CD players and Mp3 players only play back what you have on them. WS offers so many different channels and types of music that you cannot possible have on a CD or Mp3 collection. Plus you get to know about new music and artists. As for DTH-TV, I cannot carry my TV with me to other locations. My JVC and little dish can go with me everywhere.
Yes, it would be a nice added feature to have data casting. It would be nice if WorldSpace did some listener surveys.
Slashing the subscription charge
900 Rupees for six months - is a very big amount for an ordinary INDIAN, so WorldSpace cannot reach towards the masses. It has made a wave only among IT professionals, executives, hotels, shopping malls, and bars, etc. Nowadays all other similar services -not only radio (I mean DTH, TATA SKY, etc.) have also very less subscription charge. If WorldSpace does not make some slash in its subscription charge, there will be no new customers
By Prasar Bharati's new policy within a few years a lot of FM stations have come up in all states of India, so first slash down the subscription rate. For a country like India, 900 rupees for six months is a high rate.
I have seen the financial results of hundreds of companies but never came across the weird or bad results like that of Worldspace.
Problems WorldSpace is experiencing in India
Well there is a real flaw in its business model. It is doing right kind of marketing that is by reaching extensively in colleges. I feel the real problem is that for listening to Worldspace, we need to buy a new equipment that costs something like 2000/- INR. People are always apprehensive about spending so much money on a device which will be playing only proprietary radio, so it should offer some more functions on the set maybe like CD playback or even FM (I know FM is its biggest competitor but given a chance people would not mind paying something extra for the commercial and talkative free stuff).
How WordSpace can increase its usability and enhance growth in the Indian Market?
Worldspace strategy has to be multifold. It's present 'invasion' mode of conquering city after city like an FM Radio is wrong when their footprint area is 14 million square kilometers. Later they cannot make up for lost time in future. The strategy roadmap should have the following directions:
- Creating awareness of technology to the masses. Less than 50 lakhs of people may be knowing about Worldspace now in India.
- Selection of channel partners of other media like newspapers, magazines and TV channels. Giving free channels in exchange of advertising in their respective media.
- Strong consumer electronic leaders like Philips, Sony, LG and Samsung are to be convinced to produce satellite digital radios. If necessary, for their high end music systems. Worldspace chips should be given free.
- Building strong presence in broadcasting of education, healthcare, and agriculture by which institutional consumers can be created. Already huge investments are made in these sectors.
- Immediate exploitation of data casting and multimedia capabilities of the satellite and all consumers must be eligible to receive them.
- Bringing down the cost of receivers with nominal subscription fee.
So according to me again I would say that future of WorldSpace Satellite radio in India is not so bright and can be made better by using the above tips and advice.