The current pandemic has shaken the business world very badly. For some organizations, survival is a major worry. OTT(Over The Top) platforms has enjoyed a golden run in this pandemic area. Work From Home(WFH) and job losses have forced people to sit at home.
For entertainment purposes, users subscribed to different OTT platforms. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hot Star, Zee5 are some of the popular OTT platforms in India.
These platforms are even providing content in the regional languages. But still, there is a big gap between the supply and demand of regional contents. This situation brought regional OTT platforms into the picture. Aha is one such regional platform dedicated to the Telugu language.
Successful beginning for Aha
Launched in early 2020, Aha mainly started its operations at the end of Quarter one of 2020. Surprisingly, Aha doesn’t belong to a millionaire tech or big media company. Aha is a new venture of Arha Media and Broadcasting Pvt Ltd that is a joint venture of Geetha Arts and My Home Group.
Geetha Arts owned by Allu Arvind started Aha for Telugu web series and movies. Allu Arvind is a producer in the Telugu entertainment industry for the last few decades. Telugu industry is also known as Tollywood.
The Covid19 crisis forced Aha to postpone a few of its operations in the early stage. Aha started its full capacity operation in September month. From the beginning, it has a year subscription plan of Rs 365. No ads policy on the platform makes it one of the unique initiative.
Content quality and the best user experience are the main objectives of Aha. It will not compromise with these two things even if it faces loss in early time.
Aha management is quite happy with the current growth of the OTT platform. Aha app downloads have reached 5M+ on the play store. The platform saw 20 million unique users accessing its contents since it was launched. A rating of 4.5 by around 1.9 lakh users tells the story of Aha’s popularity.
Aha team said that the platform has observed 2x subscribers compare to the initial expectations. Aha is one of the five major rising regional OTT platforms in India.
Future Plans of Aha OTT Platform
Aha is planning to release 52 new shows in the next year. Covid19 stopped some of the productions but still, the platform is availing a new show every week to retain its users.
Currently, 80+ million Telugu users are consuming online videos. Aha plans to attract this user base in the future. When asked about the availability of new and acquired content, Aha officials said that the platform will provide 70% new content, whereas acquired content will be 30%.
There are few more single language OTT examples like Cityshor.tv (Gujarati) and Planet Marathi. These however are not backed by established production houses. OTT apps by established production houses have an advantage.
First- their content archive is very rich with diversifying contents that provide automatic ownership rights. Second – they are deep-pocketed and also have a strong industry connection for exclusive content.
AHA is a really good example here. Their ads are all over Youtube and TV – something unimaginable for a 10 months old company if it was run by an outsider. Allu Arvind also roped in his son Allu Arjun – a leading Tollywood actor – for promotions.
Tollywood is also controlled by a few powerful film families like Bollywood. Allu Arvind is one of those flag bearers of the Tollywood industry. All Telugu content producers are just a call away from the Aha team.
The Telugu industry doesn’t experiment with the contents that much. Star cast is the only option to get profit. Aha changed this trend. Aha platform contents are full of new stories and experimentation. OTT platforms like Aha lets you experiment with different content formats and stories due to the lower production cost involved.
Aha contents are totally opposite to Geetha Arts offline contents. Latter never experimented with the contents. Aha is committed to providing a lot of new content with new directors, actors who started their journey over YouTube.
Aha platform is not having any immediate plan of aggregation with other known brands. CEO Ajit Thakur said that the company is initially looking for organic growth. We want to see how long we can go without any aggregation strategy. Currently, Aha has an agreement with local broadband service provider ACR Fibernet on equal terms.
This freshness in the movies and shows will make Aha popular in the new generation. It will also work as a platform to provide opportunities for new talents.
Answering a question related to premium content’s future, CEO Thakur said that 25% of online Telugu users are already in a position to pay for premium content. This number will be 100% if we provide a better user experience.
Aha is the only regional platform in Telugu. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hot Star will also compete to grab the regional users as much as possible. This will make the competition interesting. It will be fascinating to see how Aha will compete with big OTT giants.