ALTBalaji eyeing Rs 85-90 cr rev in FY19

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms is eyeing a 13 fold increase in revenue from its video on demand (VoD) platform ALTBalaji.

ALTBalaji, which closed FY18 with a revenue of Rs 6.8 crore, is eyeing a revenue of Rs 85 to 90 crore in FY19.

“So till March 31, 2019, we should be closer to Rs. 85 to Rs. 90 crore,” Balaji Telefilms Group COO and ALTBalaji CEO Nachiket Pantvaidya told analysts during a conference call.

The company is also looking to spend Rs 100 to 115 crore on creating 24 original shows comprising 100 hours of original content. In FY18, the VoD platform had 17 original shows.

“We will create 24 original shows. Our total cash burn will be Rs. 165 crore out of which content will be about Rs. 110 to Rs. 115 crore,” Pantvaidya stated.

ALTBalaji had crossed 1 million paid subscriber base in FY18. Its total subscriber base was 1.2 million of which 0.4 million were direct subscribers and 0.8 million were through telco partnerships with Reliance Jio, Vodafone, and Airtel.

“Technically, what we are seeing is that when we started the year we were getting about 1000 subscribers per day, now we are at 25000 subscribers per day that is where the real delta is coming to,” Pantvaidya said.

He further added that the platform another million users in the last 45 days over and above the 1.2 million. ALTBalaji retains 33 customers for every 100 that get added. “So churn is so much that if I get 100 customers 33% you can count as annual customers,” he stated.

ALTBalaji’s content strategy is to create original fiction-based content that is slanted towards individual viewing.

In FY19, the platform will have second seasons of Ragini MMS, Dev DD, and The Test Casein addition to a host of new shows that are being planned.

“We will probably end this year with 24 new shows taking our library to anywhere between 40 and 45 shows across two financial years. Towards this, we currently have over 50 concepts under various stages of development out of which 11 are on the floor of production and 39 are in the pre-prod writing stage and we will continue to receive new ideas and scripts on a daily basis,” Pantvaidya revealed.

The length of the series on an average length will be 12 to 16 episodes with 22-minute duration for each episode. All IPs are owned by Balaji. Almost 70% of the content is getting produced from non-Balaji production houses and 30% from Balaji Telefilms.

Pantvaidya feels that the average revenue per user (ARPU) for ALTBalaji will be Rs. 20 ARPU which could go up if continues delivering hit shows.

The company aims is to break even at 8 million subscribers with Rs 20 ARPU translating to a top line of Rs. 192 crore in FY20. “For that, we might need to go through a lot of ARPU ups and downs. For example, we need to figure out how are international packs there, we need to figure out how many hits do we have and that will really help us decide a strategy of volume into value going ahead,” he stated.

As far as international expansion is concerned, ALTBalaji will roll-out in Indonesia in June. The content will be dubbed in Bahasa language followed by Bangladesh in July. It has already launched in Sri Lanka on Dialog Axiata.

Pantvaidya expects the realisations from international markets to be 2X that of the local market.

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