Indian Railways has announced a new Content on Demand (CoD) service for passengers to enjoy free or subscription based content during their train journey. This service will be spearheaded by RailTel, a miniratna PSU under Ministry of Railways, and it has partnered with Zee Entertainment's subsidiary Margo Network to offer all of the content on trains. The content that will be provided to passengers will include movies, TV shows, educational programs, and a whole lot more. Some of this content will be offered for free, while some will be available at a charge.
The railway authorities claim that CoD will soon be available in all Premium, Express, Mail trains and Suburban trains of Indian Railways. The aim is to generate more non-fare revenue through three new streams - advertisement based monetization, subscription based monetization and e-commerce/partnership services. The project is expected to be implemented in two years, and the content provided by this service will be multilingual catering to the varied set of audiences across the country. CMD at RaiTel Puneet Chawla says that the project is expected to be completed by 2022. A total of 8731 trains across all 17 zones of Indian Railways should get CoD service installed, and this includes 3003 trains pan India, and 2,864 pairs of suburban trains. The authority also confirms that CoD will be available at all Wi-Fi enabled Railway Stations which has crossed 5563 Railway stations as on date.
In trains, media servers will be installed, and the CoD platform also looks to provide e-commerce and m-commerce services like enabling travel bookings. The official statement notes that the content will be periodically refreshed, and the service will strive to offer high quality buffer free streaming across personal devices during their train journey. To recall, a report in August confirmed the arrival of this service soon. Indian government's Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal had then tweeted that the ability to stream movies, shows and music on trains and stations will be launching soon.