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Eros Now has 2.9 mn pay subscribers; rev touches $14 mn in FY17

MUMBAI: Eros Now, the OTT arm of Eros International, has seen a 38% jump in its paying subscribers to 2.9 million as of June 2017.

Eros Now’s revenue in the fiscal ended March 2017 was $14 million. The target is to post revenue in excess of $40 million in FY18 and $100 million in FY19, Eros International executive chairman Kishore Lulla told investors.

Lulla expects Eros Now to have 6 million to 8 million paid subscribers in FY18. The blended ARPU (average revenue per user) is expected to be between $5 and $7 per year from India and $30 from outside over a period of time.

Eros Now, which touched 2.1 million paying subscribers as of March 2017, has room for upsize. The OTT service provider has just 4.3% penetration of its total registered user base as paying subscribers as of 30 June 2017.

Eros Now has over 60 million registered users worldwide across WAP, app and Web as of 31 March 2017 and approximately 68 million registered users as of 30 June 30 2017. The target is to reach 100 million subscribers in the next five years.

Eros Now holds rights to more than 10,000 films, out of which around 5,000 films are owned in perpetuity across Hindi and regional languages. It is also launching more original series in the second half of FY18 after successfully launching ‘Salute Siachen’, a docu-series shot on mobile phones, India’s first ever celebrity high endurance expedition to the Siachen Glacier in FY17.

“Peak investments in Eros Now, like strengthening the catalogue, have already taken place with the 10,000 films. So now we can expect to reap from those investments with extraordinary growth,” Eros International Group CEO, MD and director Jyoti Deshpande told investors.

Eros Now has penetrated the market by getting into long-term deals with major telecom carriers like Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL.

Said Lulla, “We have made monumental progress with Eros Now touching almost 3 million paying subscribers, a digital library amounting to over 10,000 titles, with the catalogue worth more than a billion dollars and landmark distribution deals with some of the world’s largest brands including Apple, Samsung, Vodafone, Etisalat and Verizon just to name a few.”

In India, the OTT market is getting over-crowded with several players entering the space. Global giants such as Netflix and Amazon are not only offering international content but also eyeing to provide home-grown content. The space has seen intense activity and has television networks like Star India, Sony and Zee having their own OTT platforms in the form of Hotstar, Sony Liv, Ditto TV and OZEE. Reliance Industries Ltd has agreed to acquire stake in ALTBalaji.

Eros Now was the No. 1 trending app on the Google Play Store in the month of July. Apple has also featured the Eros Now app in its ‘App Store Best of 2016’.

Eros Now expects that with encouraging trends in the local markets in the form of crashing data costs and smartphone costs, content consumption through OTT platforms will benefit tremendously in a growing digital environment.

The platform has partnered with SBI Buddy and other e-wallets in India such as Paytm, Mobikwik, Freecharge and Speedpay with an aggregate addressable market of 260 million.