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Balaji Telefilms plans to launch its OTT platform ALT in Q4 of FY16

MUMBAI: TV and film content production studio Balaji Telefilms plans to launch its over-the-top (OTT) service under ‘ALT’ brand towards the exit quarter of the current financial year. The OTT business will be housed under ALT Digital.

ALT logoAs per the plan, the ALT mobile app and website will launch in the fourth quarter of the current financial year, while tech development, content production, promo launch, pre-launch marketing and beta launch will happen in the third quarter.

The company’s board recently approved a proposal to raise Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion).

As reported by TelevisionPost.com, the production house intends to invest Rs 250 crore (Rs 2.5 billion) in the OTT platform. While technology will consume around Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million), content creation and marketing will take away 75 per cent of the investment.

Balaji Telefilms plans to build a scalable and profitable direct-to-consumer (D2C) business by offering diverse original content. The company believes that digital B2C will become the company’s core business in future.

With the audience rapidly moving towards non-traditional media like mobile and other connected devices, the company sees a good opportunity in launching its own OTT platform.

This will allow the company to reach the consumer directly while continuing to own its intellectual property (IP). Currently, the production house does not own the IP of the content it produces as the same is owned by the broadcaster.

With ALT, Balaji plans to offer a large variety of edgy, original content created especially for the OTT platform. It will have both original and curated content.

The OTT service will have two revenue models—one is a subscription-based freemium approach and the other is through advertisements, licensing and sponsorship.

With 19–34 age group as its key TG, ALT is targeted at the young, urban audience looking for consuming content outside TV at their convenience.

Balaji plans to deploy the global ‘best of breed’ technology to ride on the imminent explosion of internet bandwidth in the country. The OTT service will have streaming and offline viewing options delivered over multiple screens.

With growing consumption of digital, the audience is demanding quality original content, and a small and growing segment of this audience is willing to pay for such content.

The company believes that the proliferation of broadband and smartphones will rapidly accelerate market development enabling it to offer content at a reasonable price. It is also confident that investors are willing to back such business models at attractive valuations.