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ALTBalaji seeing rapid uptake in tier II & III cities during post-Covid period

However, its subscriber addition has flattened due to lack of fresh content

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KOLKATA: Going beyond the initial metro syndrome, over-the-top (OTT) platforms in India are seeing massive adoption in tier II, tier III cities, and even in rural areas. The massification is happening faster than it was predicted courtesy to content in Indian languages, better bandwidth, easier payment options. Meanwhile, homegrown platforms are becoming more relevant in the game.

Unlike many other platforms, which had to tweak their content strategy, pricing models to attract the new section of OTT users, ALTBalaji has always focused on mass India. The strategy is reaping good results as the platform is seeing a rapid uptake of the platform in tier II and tier III cities post-Covid period.

“As India is a price-sensitive market, we think consumers from tier II and tier III cities will need a very affordable price proposition and therefore our focus is on converting these first-time samplers into avid subscribers of premium content on the platform. ALTBalaji with its less than a rupee a day pricing has been successfully meeting this challenge and it is one of the lowest-priced video streaming players in the market, this has allowed us to quickly penetrate and grow our reach,” ALTBalaji management said in an earnings call after q1 results. 

“Viewers spend an average of 60 minutes and 90 minutes per week in metros and non-metro markets respectively, the highest in its category in 2019, this trend continues in quarter one FY2021,” it added. According to a report from RedSeer Consulting, the OTT consumption to see 80 per cent share from tier I, tier III cities and rural areas by 2022.

While ALTBalaji has recently made a strategic investment in fan connect platform Tring, one of the main reasons lies in the fact that the latter also wants to target tier II, tier III cities. “The synergies for this are the fact that both of us are in the area of getting onscreen talent and more importantly both Tring as well as Balaji want to target Tier II and Tier III cities of India. So, I think that is the synergy, it is kind of a talent representation business and we work with talent and so does Tring,” the management commented.

At the beginning of the lockdown, the platform’s subscriber addition zoomed to 14000-15000 per day. However, due to lack in fresh content and the initial phases of unlock,  the number has come down to 10000 per day which is at per with pre-Covid period. However, the platform currently has 1.5 million active user base with a churn rate of 66 per cent.

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