Tamasha: Pakistan’s largest homegrown OTT platform poised to make it big

ISLAMABAD: Launched in 2021, Tamasha has emerged as Pakistan’s largest homegrown OTT platform in terms of content catalogue and the highest number of downloads of over 10 million. The streaming app’s rise has taken a few people by surprise, but it has not been unexpected.​

Pakistan has around 121 million mobile broadband subscribers. As per PTA’s recent annual report, the country has 71 million active YouTube users. This makes Pakistan one of the fastest growing markets for YouTube globally. It’s evident that youth and internet users are big on video content. There is a huge market for online streaming and video-on-demand which remains untapped.

Netflix’s rise was a pivotal moment for Video-on-Demand (VoD) and its success prompted others to follow suit. It was only a matter of time before local streaming platforms tried capturing the market.

Looking back at the launch of the Tamasha app, Jazz’s Chief Digital Officer, Aamer Ejaz, explained, “We closely followed Netflix’s initial success and it became clear that the world is moving away from television and towards streaming.”

“We realized that many international OTT platforms are available but lacked local content. So, we conceived Tamasha to bridge that gap and cater to the rapidly increasing number of smartphone users in the country. With Tamasha, we wanted to bring conventionally consumed TV content to the mobile handset and make it accessible to everyone,” said Aamer.

Elaborating further, Aamer said that Tamasha offers two kinds of content – mainstream television channels and VoD. Major cricket tournaments, political events, and blockbuster movies constitute the “Hero Content” on the app because it piques the audience’s interest, he added.

A quick scroll through the app shows that it also has Hollywood blockbuster movies like Harry Potter and Pakistani films like London Nahi Jaunga. Additionally, famous TV shows like Friends can also be readily watched on the app. Recently, millions enjoyed the T20 Cricket World Cup completely ad-free on Tamasha as well as FIFA World Cup Qatar 22. Lastly, Tamasha will be streaming the complete home season of the Pakistan cricket team till May 23.

Upon drawing comparisons to giants like Netflix and Amazon, Aamer clarified that their business model is entirely different, tailored to their top-pyramid-only target audience who can readily pay excessive subscription rates. Moreover, OTT platforms only offer credit and debit card billing, which substantially limits the target audience. “They have the resources to attract the best content makers and purchase top content from around the globe. Our model currently largely focuses on live streaming and we will get into content production at a later stage.”

While most of the content on the app is free, the paid content is extremely low-priced. “Tamasha is committed to developing an ecosystem that supports the evolving needs of individuals to remain connected 24/7 with the latest news and entertainment,” Aamer concluded.