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ALTBalaji crosses 20 million paid subscribers mark

Subscribers are likely to hit 25 million when its next quarterly results are announced.

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MUMBAI: Balaji Telefilms' digital arm ALTBalaji has gained more than 20 million paid subscribers by the end of the first quarter of 2019. The streaming player’s subscribers are likely to hit 25 million when its next quarterly results are announced.

“We are in mass Hindi-speaking India,” Balaji Telefilms group COO Nachiket Pantvaidya said as quoted by Variety. “We want people in Surat, Ranchi, Raipur to watch us. We want people in rural India to watch us,” he added.

Since its launch in 2017, the Ekta Kapoor-led platform has gained good traction in the over-crowded OTT market on the back of its local content and cheaper pricing. It recently entered a partnership with ZEE5 whose 76 million monthly active users will get access to ALTBalaji’s content. “If you have to address mass India, you have to be as near free as possible,” Pantvaidya said.

According to Counterpoint Research, men account for 79 per cent of all Indian OTT users. The higher inclination of male audience towards OTT platforms is largely because of the lack of content available for them on general entertainment channels. OTT platforms like ALTBalaji are trying to fill that gap.

ALTBalaji has popular shows like Gandii Baat, Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain attracting different audience segments. “We are finding our feet, collecting the data, surviving the initial tough years in a market which is filled with Goliaths who are probably outspending us by 20 to 1”, Pantvaidya said.

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