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Balaji Telefilms to invest in original content with affordable subscription for OTT platform

The epidemic, according to Balaji Telefilms, has hastened the country’s digitisation process, which bodes well for the entertainment sector, particularly OTT, where it plans to “pursue and invest” in more original content at cheap subscription prices. According to Balaji Telefilms’ current annual report, the leading media and content provider, which is present in the subscription-based video-on-demand service through ALTBalaji, has grown into a key OTT player distinguished by its content and affordability.

“The business wants to explore and invest in more original content catering to individual interests across all genres at industry-competitive cheap subscription rates,” said Sanjay Dwivedi, Chief Financial Officer of Balaji Telefilms Group.

With the success of a few OTT movie releases this year, the over-the-top (OTT) category is also expected to provide a venue for small-budget deep content releases, he noted.

Because the multiplexes were shuttered for substantial periods of time during the countrywide lockdown and the second wave of COVID-19, some movies were immediately published on OTT by the creators, bypassing the theatre windows.

In India, there is a combination of domestic and foreign streaming businesses, including Alt Balaji, Voot, Zee5, MX Player, and Jio Cinema, as well as international streaming firms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sony Liv, and Disney-Hotstar.

“Telecom operators’ significant investment in boosting internet penetration and new technologies helps the consumer transition and complements the country’s digital infrastructure development,” he added.

He went on to say that this bodes well for the entertainment sector, particularly the OTT segment, because it allows for a far broader reach for the “target audience,” where “volume” and “quality” of customers are “equally crucial for the business’s long-term success.”

The business will continue to focus on the TV, movie, and over-the-top (OTT) areas in order to retain a healthy financial sheet and capitalise on growing consumer trends.

Dwivedi stated that the TV industry is “highly likely” to continue on its recovery route from the epidemic by increasing programming spending.

While the movie industry is likely to segment releases based on budget and casting, big-budget films are more likely to be released in theatres, subject to regulatory limitations.

While speaking to the firm’s shareholders, he stated, “The company plans to continue to explore strategic alliances with leading companies in the industry for profitable and long-term growth, restricted by the objective of maintaining a strong financial position and cash flow.”

“We are positive about the entire business’s outlook,” Dwivedi added, “as we proceed on our path with a strategic focus on key areas of growth, financial indicators, and customer satisfaction.”

In terms of 2020-21, he stated that the company’s OTT business performed very well over the year, with conventional TV and movie segments making a comeback.

“In the aftermath of the epidemic, the organisation faced tremendous problems across all verticals, from logistics to distribution,” he continued.

Balaji Telefilms, promoted by Bollywood veteran actor Jeetendra and his daughter Ekta Kapoor, had income from operations of Rs 315.78 crore in 2020-21, down 45.2 percent. In 2019-20, it was Rs 576.63 crore.

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