ALTBalaji’s content investment will be in Rs 100-125 cr range

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms’ content spend on creating original content for its subscription VoD platform ALTBalaji will be in the Rs 100 to 125 crore range. The company’s overall investment in the ALTBalaji business will be in the range of Rs 150 to 170 crore for the next couple of years.

“We are still aiming to be in that Rs.150 to Rs.170 Crores range, which we have always guided. The overall investment of which Rs100-125 crores will be the content,” the company’s management said during the Q4 earnings conference call.

ALTBalaji’s revenue split between direct and in-direct subscribers was Rs 15 crore and Rs 25 crore respectively. The company’s strategy is to increase direct subscriber in the coming years. The company is expecting ALTBalaji’s revenue to double in FY20.

“I think right now as we are 40% we see this value growth to more than 50% in times to come, right maybe 50%, 60% our purpose is to eventually expand our direct subscriber base, what the telco partnership does give us is ease of distributions, it distributes to many places,” the management stated.

ALTBalaji’s content strategy will continue to be based on Hindi original exclusives since the Hindi mass market is more than 50-55% of the Indian market.

“Over time, the Hindi original exclusives will get beefed up or we will add to it through other forms of content that is required. At this point of time, we have got a sticky product, we have got a sticky habit and that is what we are building on, that is the competitive difference at this point of time we have more Hindi original exclusive shows out there than anybody else in the market place,” the management noted.

ALTBalaji did away with kids animation content since it has its own set of challenges. The company’s management noted that in a pay app for a kid to drive his parents to pay is a dual process and that increases cost of consumer acquisition one. Secondly, the animation content in kids cannot be turned around under same rate as live action.

“There are two broad learnings, when we started off we created content that was for kids also, we have dropped from that our strategy, we are no longer doing original content for kids that was a section in our app, we are thinking we will reinvent that content away, we have not invested significantly in kids content, so that is one correction that we are doing from where we started of,” the management stated.

The management also noted that when ALTBalaji launched it was an urban mass channel, however, that has now changed with the increasing internet penetration across the length and breadth of the country.

“We have a very good mix of mass and urban mass, simply for the reason that internet is spreading into smaller and smaller towns into people with lesser incomes also and that is kind of telling us that there is a new psychographic that is emerging both on males as well as female and we want to gear up our library to last this spread of internet,” the management said.

It further stated that ALTBalaji doesn not want to make something that is going to be irrelevant three months down the line. “So we are closely examining how to do that and how to get that point, towards that you will see a larger proportion of thrillers, which are male targeted coming in the next 12 months on the app, this has also been data verified with the success of our show Apharan, which is right now tracking very high from the top three shows consistently on our app.”

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