Cable and broadcast service provider Hathway has launched a one-of-its-kind TV channel for which the content is crowd sourced. Called H-tube, the channel gives TV viewers an opportunity to telecast their videos and watch themselves on TV. The customers can upload their videos on the H-tube website and thereafter, subject to quality checks, have their videos telecast on the new H-tube TV channel available to Hathway subscribers on their Hathway digital cable TV connection.
According to Jagdish Kumar, MD, Hathway Cable and Datacom, this is a first-of-its-kind service in the world which fully exploits the synergies of the Hathway Broadband and Cable service. "H-tube is a part of our on-going endeavour to connect with our customers in numerous ways. User-generated content for TV is an untapped source, which we would like to access and give a platform for exhibition. We hope this unleashes the latent creativity of our customers. We are confident that being watched by a potential viewer base of 50 million TV viewers will add to the appeal of the product."
Kunal Ramteke, business head, Broadband is of the view that there is an inherent excitement for any viewer to watch himself on TV. "The TV viewing behaviour of customers is increasingly being shaped by technology. Our 50 Mbps fibre broadband service and our large TV viewership provide the perfect combination for true democratisation of TV. H-tube is an exciting platform for budding artists, housewives and students to showcase their talent and our role is to help them
discover their inner artiste."
The H-tube TV channel is available to Hathway TV viewers in Maharashtra on Channel No. 25. According to Ramteke, this is the first learning curve. The company does want to take it to the rest of the country but after seeing the reaction from Maharashtra.
Hathway is marketing the new channel through its social media websites and its own website. "Once we see what kind of traction the channel is getting, we will launch it in the other markets with an elaborative ad campaign. At the moment, we are promoting it through the media which are at our disposal," Ramteke adds.
On monetisation, Ramteke mentions that the channel is focusing on getting people to upload content. Different kinds of models can then be worked out, including advertising spots that run on other channels as well. Besides, the channel might look at charging subscription fees from the people whose videos will run on TV.
H-tube has created time slots for telecasting different genres like Fashion, Recipes, Kids, Celebrations, Short-format episodes and Travel, so viewers can share and enjoy viewing the content conveniently.
Hathway already owns channels like Hathway CCC, Hathway Movies and Hathway Music, as it plans to launch many more channels covering genres like Entertainment, Music, Movies, Adventure and Lifestyle.