Saregama eyes rev jump from Q4 as licensing deals with Amazon, Apple conclude

MUMBAI: Video and music content company Saregama is expecting a revenue jump beginning Q4 FY18 thanks to licensing deals with Amazon for its soon to launch Prime Music service and Apple Music, which launched in the Indian market in 2015.

Amazon has partnered with Saregama to stream the label’s catalog of 117,000 tracks on Amazon Prime Music when the ad-free music streaming service launches in India. Earlier, it had inked licensing deal with Zee Music Company.

“Licensing arrangements with Amazon and Apple will result in additional revenues from Q4 onwards,” Saregama said in its investor presentation. The company also said that Apple Music India will start streaming its songs in Q4.

Saregama’s net profit for the quarter ended 31 December up 5% at Rs 13 crore compared to Rs 12.4 crore in the year-ago period.

Total revenue jumped 73% to 93.7 crore from Rs 54.23 crore. Music revenue zoomed 114% to Rs 82.34 crore from Rs 38.42 crore. TV & films revenue declined 28% to Rs 11.4 crore compared to Rs 15.8 crore.

Saregama said that the music b2b business will be driven by double digital growth in the over the top (OTT) and YouTube segment as revenue from telecom will continue to decline.

The company is also hoping that the acquisition of new music content will also help publishing business to grow further.

On the b2c side, the company is gearing up to launch its portable radio player Carvaan in Bengali besides versions of Canada/UK/Middle East. The company sold 132,000 units sold of Carvaan & Mini in the third quarter.

In Q3, Carvaan Tamil Mini – MS Subbalakshmi version was launched on 17 December. Carvaan was launched in the US priced $159

The company has appointed the fourth manufacturer for Carvaan and the supply from the India-based supplier will begin in May 2018.

As far as the television business is concerned, the company expects the South TV banked inventory to start contributing to profits from Q1, FY19. It has walked out of Hindi production business as part of its focus on creating original IP.

Saregama’s Yoodlee Films division, which is creating movies targeted at millennials, will release two films in theatre in Q4. Its first film ‘Ajji’ released in November 2017. The digital rights licensing for the movie has been completed. The company said it will release ‘Brij Mohan Amar Rahein’ straight on a digital platform. The revenue from ‘Ajji’ and ‘Brijmohan’ will be recognised in the Q4.

Future movies under the Yoodlee brand will be focused more towards U & U/A movies. The focus is to build a catalogue. The cost of movies will be fully recovered in the year of release.

Saregama further stated that eight films under Yoodlee are ready. All the films have been shot in 18-21 days.

On the Enforcement Directorate searches in the royalty dispute matter, the company said it didn’t receive any adverse order or communication from ED.

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