DTH vs OTT Platforms: Which Service Rules The Indian Home Entertainment Industry?


Since the past decade, the subscription rate of DTH services is steadily declining in India, and on the other hand, the subscription rate of OTT platforms is growing immensely. This fact is backed by a recent report released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) stating a sharp decline in the active subscriber base of DTH services by 25 percent. The DTH subscription rate between January to March happens to be 72.44 million and this count has come down to 54.26 million between April to June this year.

Before analyzing the reasons that led to the declined subscription rate of the DTH platform, let us first understand what exactly DTH and OTT platforms are.

DTH- Direct To Home

DTH- Direct to Home

DTH is an acronym for ‘Direct To Home’ service. It is a type of service that provides television viewing services directly to subscribers anywhere in the country by making use of digital satellites for transmission.

The digital signals are received directly from the satellite by the receiver.

OTT- Over The Top

OTT stands for ‘Over The Top’ media service. Any company that makes video content available for streaming online comes under the list of OTT service providers. The term is commonly applied to video-on-demand platforms, but also refers to audio streaming, messaging services, or internet-based voice calling solutions.

OTT- Over the Top

To access content across the OTT platforms all that you need is good internet connectivity and smartphones, tablets, laptops/computers.

One of the major differences between the two formats is the type of content made available for the viewers. Another difference is that the subscriptions in OTT platforms are very personal whereas subscriptions in DTH connections are more social.

When it comes to advertising and marketing, both platforms complement each other by targeting the viewers with promotional ads of each other.

Are DTH Service Providers Really Declining?

TRAI has made recent changes in the method of computation of subscription rate and the information about the reduction of 25% may not be that accurate.

Also, to be precise, OTT platforms haven’t significantly dropped their subscription prices to the extent of wiping out DTH.


To survive in the stiff competition, DTH service providers have started flexible payment options where consumers will only be paying for what they want to watch. This simply means that, viewers will be charged monthly based on their watch list.

Why are OTT Platforms Overtaking DTH service Providers?

Well, to be clearly precise, the growing demand for OTT platforms is surely showing impacting the sales of DTH service providers. As we can carry our smartphones everywhere, we can have unlimited access to entertainment through OTT platforms

Also, as the data services cost has gone down drastically, Internet has become well accessible to everyone.


OTT platforms like Netflix, Disney Hotstar, & Amazon Prime are presenting quality content that can draw viewers’ interest.

Future of OTT Platforms in India

Indian OTT business is thriving as programs like Digital India and broadband programs have made the Internet accessible to everyone. The growing popularity of OTT platforms isn’t going to slow down anywhere in the near future.


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