ALTBalaji is the digital unit of Balaji Telefilms. While they’ve been promising interesting web series in the form of great trailers, somehow, this digital platform has not taken off the way many of its competitors have. Last quarter, the brand reported loses worth 36.4 Crore INR, which was double the losses they had in the quarter before that. However, having said that, their revenue nearly doubled with the figure jumping to 8 Crore INR. The brand also saw a jump in subscribers from 0.52 Million to 13.1 million subscribers by February 2019. Moreover, the brand also featured as one of the top paid apps downloaded in India.
Young consumers now value OTT web content more than regular movies!
The rapid rate at which ALTBalaji has gained subscribers shows a huge increase in the OTT market as far as consumers are concerned. The mobile revolution in India, aided by affordable smartphones and cheaper internet services (like Jio) has allowed more consumers to tune into more forms of content than they did only a few years ago. With the popularity of certain online web series like Sacred Games and Lust Stories, consumers are now more open to viewing content via a streaming platform, rather than solely relying on TV shows and movies.
Another reason why the OTT segment is growing so rapidly in India is because this format offers more progressive content. Consumers relying on the Indian television scene must resort to watching family-oriented dramas that do not always offer progressive thought. Web series, on the other hand, is aimed at a younger audience and experiment with interesting plotlines that resonate with the audience of today.
As the online segment is not regulated by a censor board, the same way Indian films are, content creators and viewers experience greater freedom in terms of storytelling and viewing. As a result, more and more people are drawn to this format than traditional films and shows. Knowing this, even T-Series now plans to enter this field with its own web series and movies.
Moreover, ALTBalaji also offers subscription rates that are much lower than its competition. They charge Rs 25 per month, making web content far more accessible to the average Indian youth than other, more premium platforms like Netflix, that charge a minimum of 500 per month. ALTBalaji charges 300 INR for its yearly subscriptions, which again, is far more affordable than Prime’s 999 INR for a year.