ALTBalaji clocks four million plus subscribers in Q2 FY21

ARPUs are between Rs 140-150; company says it is cash positive.


KOLKATA: Although the first two quarters of FY21, have been weaker than FY20 for  content powerhouse Balaji Telefilms due to the pandemic, its digital arm has been far more resilient during the crisis. The platform has seen a very marginal dip in revenue in Q2 FY21  compared to the previous  quarter but its direct subscription revenue has almost doubled compared to corresponding quarter last year. This was disclosed by the management during an investor earnings call on Tuesday.

It was further disclosed that Alt Balaji currently has a subscriber base of between four-five million; however, it’s churn rate at 50 per cent is a bit worrisome. It has an average revenue of Rs 140-150 per user annually, even as it added net 9,000 subscribers daily in Q2 FY21. 58 per cent of its viewers are coming from small town India and the hinterlands, with remainder coming from the metros, the company said in its presentation. International subscriptions too saw an uptick in the latest quarter.

 The company has already indicated in the last quarter that it is expecting to break even in Q4 FY21; that may be pushed forward to Q1FT22 courtesy the uncertainties around Covid2019. But on the basis of current numbers in its balance sheet, it hopes that the P&L breakeven would be achieved within Q4 itself. The ALTBalaji management highlighted, during the call,  that the platform is cash positive in terms of revenue.

Total revenue for ALTBalaji stood at Rs 14.7 crore for Q2FY21  compared to Rs 14.9 crore in the previous quarter. ALTBalaji has maintained a continued yearly growth in revenue since its launch. While it ended the last fiscal year with Rs 77 crore in revenue, the management stated in the call that it is on track to improve by 40-50 per cent this year. So far it has managed to rake in Rs 29.58 crore in terms of revenue in H1 FY21, while incurring Rs 86.96 crore in expenses of which production accounted for 46.15 crore.

Moreover, it has significantly lowered its customer acquisition cost. The ZEE5 deal which will be carried till March 2022, contributed Rs 2.5 crore in its latest quarter and Rs 2.6 crore for H1FY21. Its international business also contributed Rs 1. 75 crore to direct subscription revenue this quarter.

Since its launch, the company has altered its content strategy based on customer insights. While it initially focused on the urban mass market, now a significant portion of its content is targeted at tier-II, tier-III cities. Currently, it is looking at Hindi markets predominantly but may include one regional market in  the next 12 months.

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