ALTBalaji crosses 2.1 mn active subscribers, monthly billing crosses Rs 10 cr

ALTBalaji, the online video streaming service from Balaji Telefilms, has reported its highest ever subscriptions sold during the third quarter ending December 31, 2020. ALTBalaji sold 1.6 million subscriptions in Q3 FY2021 on the back of very strong content line up and strategic increase in marketing spends.

The monthly direct billing run rate at the end of Q3 FY2021 stood at Rs 10 crore and growing strongly vis-a-vis billing at the end of Q2 FY2021 at Rs 3.5 crore a month.

Recognised revenue for the quarter stood at Rs 20.1 crore, which included Rs 5.4 crore from ZEE5 content sharing. Further revenue to be recognised in subsequent quarter at Rs 11.8 crore (marketing expense already incurred).

ALTBalaji’s active subscribers at the end of December 2020 were reported at 2.1 million, compared to 1.2 million at the start of the quarter. The company has been aggressively driving deeper audience engagement and reducing subscriber churn, currently adding 20,000 to 22,000 subscribers a day.

During the quarter, ALTBalaji added 9 shows, taking the total to 74 shows live on the platform.

ALTBalaji’s continues to go deeper into mass India

  • OTT video streaming landscape in India gets stronger with widespread adoption into Tier 2 and Tier 3 India and require diverse and relevant content and affordable pricing
  • ALTBalaji continues to drive growth in the category on the back of strong content and affordable pricing
  • Total library of original shows available on ALTBalaji currently stands at 74, which include multiple shows running into multiple seasons
  • Large content platform helps drive subscription and also reducing consumer churn
  • Content line-up is geared for the Bharat audience – the next billion users from Hindi heartlands
  • Platform continues to see very strong engagement metrics – watch time remains close to the hour a day mark despite the plethora of competing content

TV and Movies returning to normal

Balaji Telefilm’s TV and Movies combined had an EBITDA of Rs 14.5 crore for the third quarter and Rs 26.2 crore for 9 months FY2021.

TV business is now operating at more normal levels as daily show production hours picks up, average rates remain firm after initial impact of COVID-19.

  • TV business returns to more normal production with 184.5 hours content produced in the quarter
  • 7 shows were on air during the quarter
  • 4 shows running through the quarter – ‘Kumkum Bhagya’, ‘Kundali Bhagya’ on Zee, ‘Yeh Hai Chhatein’ on Star and ‘Naagin 5’ on Colors
  • New shows launched in the quarter – ‘Prem Bandhan’ on Dangal, ‘Molkki’ on Colors and ‘Brahmarakshas 2’ on Zee
  • Shows that came to an end include ‘Kasautii Zindagii Kay’ and ‘Pavitra Bhagya’
  • Gross margins impacted in the quarter due to new show launches, expected to stabilise in the current quarter as per normal operations

In the Movies space, sales to digital platforms were completed and the company is currently working on 5 tentative projects.

  • COVID-19 has impacted the theatrical release of movies so the company has completed the direct to digital releases of ‘Pagglait’, which will premiere on Netflix.
  • The company will continue to monitor opening of theatres and availability of launch windows and planning releases for FY22. Three movies will commence shooting in March/ April 2021, while shooting for two other projects will commence in the coming quarters.
  • The company remains conservative with the investments in movies exact launch dates to be decided basis availability of theatrical windows and availability of shooting dates.

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