Saregama sells two thematic films to Netflix; lines up five new films for release

MUMBAI: Saregama has sold the digital rights of its two films ‘Ajji’ and ‘Brij Mohan Amar Rahein’ to video streaming giant Netflix. The company is also negotiating a deal for its third movie ‘Kuch Bheege Alfaz’ to get the right valuation.

The three films have been produced under the banner Yoodlee Films. The company produces thematic films with tightly controlled budgets targeted at 18-35 years segment with a sharp focus on the story.

Yoodlee has already produced eight which have been shot in 18-21 days each.

It is slated to release Abi & Anu, a Tamil & Malayalam Bilingual in May. Noblemen and Ascharya will tentatively release in May/Jun.

In the coming quarter, the film producer will release five films namely Ascharya F#*CIT, Abi & Anu, Music Teacher, Hamid, and Noblemen.

The company believes sees a huge opportunity in the digital content space as data explosion has resulted in growing demand for ‘exclusive’ content from all OTT players and TV channels. Yoodlee

Yoodlee will have a greater focus on U/A and U films. Some films will be released in theatre, while some will go straight to digital platforms.

The focus is to build a catalogue. The cost of movies will be fully charged off in the year of release.

As far as the TV business is concerned, the company said that the South TV banked inventory will start getting contributing to Profits from Q1, FY 18-19.

Saregama, which is one of the largest music labels in the country, said that the company is expecting Higher monetisation of existing IP (1.2 lakh owned songs & 4100 hours of Tamil serials) through greater presence on all third-party digital and TV platforms, the launch of Saregama branded physical products with embedded music.

It is also building new IP through new film music acquisition across Hindi, Tamil and Marathi languages, TV programmes in Tamil, and low budget thematic films targeted at youth with primary exploitation on digital platforms.

Saregama’s net profit for the quarter ended 31 March grew five times to Rs 21.45 crore as against Rs 4.98 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The revenue from operations jumped 83% to Rs 105.3 crore compared to Rs 57.7 crore. Music revenue increased 132% to Rs 91.63 crore while TV & films revenue declined 25% to Rs 13.74 crore.

The net profit for the full fiscal increased almost three times to Rs 30.5 crore from Rs 10 crore. Revenue jumped 66% to Rs 345.6 crore from Rs 208.1 crore. Music revenue more than doubled to Rs 292.6 crore while TV& films revenue was down 21% to Rs 52.9 crore.

Saregama has sold 400,000 units sold of its portable radio device Carvaan even before conventional advertising started. The device is being distributed through 10,000 retail distribution network in 10 months.

The company’s streaming business is growing 40% YoY on the back of growing smartphones (350M) and falling data rates (Rs 5/GB). The company has restarted acquiring new film music IP.

It also said that the global music industry seeing a revival. India is growing faster than global while Saregama growing much faster than Indian music industry.

In February, Saregama music IP was consumed 3.1 billion times by someone in some part of the world in 28 days. Each usage is monetisable either through advertising or licensing or subscription, it stated.

The company sold 146,000 units sold of Carvaan & Mini in Q4’18. Carvaan Bengali was launched in February. Carvaan was launched in the UK at £120. It also said that the launch of 2018 model is on track during the festival season.

You may be interested