ALTBalaji’s subscriber retention rate is 30-40% on annualised basis: Sunil Lulla

MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms’ over the top (OTT) ALTBalaji has a subscriber retention rate of 30-40% on an annualised basis, a top company official has said.

ALTBalaji had added 2.1 million paid subscribers in the April-June quarter to its existing base of 1.2 million for the year ended 31 March 2018.

“I will give you the June 30 number and that number stands at 2.1 + 1.2. Luckily we are seeing a retention of anywhere between 30% and 40% on an annualised basis,” Balaji Telefilms Group CEO Sunil Lulla told analysts during an earnings conference call.

Having concluded content deals with telcos, ALTBalaji will now be integrated direct to home (DTH) and internet service providers (ISPs) in India as well as overseas. “We expect to see revenue boost from the integration in the coming quarter,” Lulla added.

Lulla also disclosed that 70% to 80% of traffic for ATLBalaji is coming from telcos, however, in terms of volume, it is 80%. The direct ARPU on ALTBalaji platform is Rs 25 per month while from the telcos the same is Rs 15 per month.

“In terms of value it will be like between 60% and 70% because the pricing the ARPU that we are getting on the non=Telco that is the direct downloads is about Rs. 25 a month and the ARPU we are getting from the Telco business around Rs. 15 a month,” Lulla noted.

ALTBalaji’s total expense base is Rs. 150 crore every year which will jump to Rs. 160 crore to Rs. 170 crore in the third year. Out of that Rs. 100 crore will be invested in content while the rest will be divided across marketing, tech, and people.

Balaji Telefilms Group COO and ALTBalaji CEO Nachiket Pantvaidya said that the platform will go the whole hog on original Tamil content from October. However, the shows will launch in the next financial year.

“We have got a Tamil show called Maya Thirrai already on but we found that unless we give the Tamil audience a reasonable library because there is an exclusion of Hindi with Tamil audiences, so the Tamil person would not come on to the app and pay the full amount,” Pantvaidya stated.

ALTBalaji plans to create a library of 10-15 original shows before entering South. “We need to create that library of 10 to 15 shows and then enter the South market originally. Meanwhile, we do continue to have a dubbed presence in these markets,” he added.

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