Eros Now’s global paid subscriber base reaches 13 mn in Q2 FY19

MUMBAI: Over the top (OTT) platform Eros Now worldwide paying subscribers has reached 13 million, an increase of 251.4% year-over-year and 28.7% since last quarter.

Eros Plc, the parent company of Eros Now, has reiterated its previous guidance of 16 million paying subscribers by fiscal year end 2019. As of 30 September, Eros Now has exceeded 128 million registered users worldwide across APP, WAP, and Web.

Eros Now premiered 16 films in Q2 FY2019 as well as 380 original short-form content pieces, including critically acclaimed short films. It also premiered two original series, Side Hero and Smoke, to critical and commercial success.

The platform also entered China with a ground-breaking partnership with iQiyi, the largest Chinese online video streaming service. With this partnership, Eros Now becomes the first South Asian OTT player to penetrate the Chinese digital space.

Eros Now reinforced its mission of non-stop entertainment, anytime, anywhere, with one-of-a-kind brand campaign ‘Bolo Kya Dekhogey’. The campaign, which rolled out three television commercials across 86 channels worldwide, reiterates Eros Now’s leadership position in the premium entertainment category, offering an extensive multi-language movie library.

Eros Plc Adjusted EBITDA in Q2 FY19 increased 44.2% to $24.8 million compared to $17.2 million in Q2 FY18. The company reported gross revenue of $72.2 million, compared to $65.4 million in Q2 FY2018, which represents a year-over-year increase of 10.4%.

Eros released 17 films in Q2 FY2019 (four medium budget and 13 low budget films) as compared to seven films in Q2 FY2018 (two medium budget and five low budget films). This is consistent with Eros’ strategy of developing its own intellectual property and concentrating on content-driven films rather than high budget star-driven films.

Revenues for the quarter were driven by releases of Side Hero (Hindi), Happy Phirr Bhag Jayegi (Hindi), Manmarziyan (Hindi), Patakha (Hindi), Saakshyam (Telugu), Tc.Gn – Take Care Good Night (Marathi), Batti Gul Meter Chalu (Hindi) Blackmail and Nawabzaade (Hindi).

Commenting on the results, Eros Group Executive Chairman and CEO Kishore Lulla stated, “We are pleased to announce another strong performance this quarter, highlighted by sequential revenue growth, improving margins and a solid capital structure. We also delivered strong growth at Eros Now, crossing 13 million paying subscribers, a sequential increase of 28.7%, and now have over 128 million registered users as of September 30, 2018.

“The media market in India is robust and growing, driven by rapid technological and socio-economic changes. We benefit from all areas of this growth, from ticket sales, digital downloads and advertising to pay television. While digital continues to be the main driver of our future growth, it’s important to remember that the television market in India is still growing at a strong pace – forecasted at c. 15% for the next few years, which provides strong tailwinds to our TV syndication business.”

Eros Digital CEO Rishika Lulla commented, “According to our proprietary data, overall platform engagement continues to increase. Long form content continues to deliver the highest levels of engagement with the majority of Eros Now films being viewed in less than two sessions. An “engaged” viewer also returns at least three times a week, spending a minimum of 40 minutes on the platform. During the second quarter alone, we’ve seen a 25% increase in the number of sessions per subscriber.

“Our registered user base of over 128 million people gives us a unique opportunity to both monitor and learn from viewing habits as well as the ability to convert a portion of this base into monthly paying subscribers. Our large registered user base also represents a new revenue opportunity for us in the form of online advertising. We look forward to rolling out over 100 originals over the next 18 months in multiple languages, further bringing the Indian entertainment ecosystem together.”

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