iWorld

New Telugu OTT platform Aha bullish on its growth and expansion

It has opted for a subscription-based model.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/11/11/mix.jpg?itok=nNvkHfFd

KOLKATA: In the sea of moody blues and ebony blacks, the orange OTT platform Aha stands out – but that alone is not enough for the fledgling brand. It is gearing up to win over audiences that are already spoiled for choice in a market saturated with streaming services. With its sights set on the Telugu regional space for now, Aha’s promoters are very bullish on its expansion plans and promise to offer local yet premium content.

The platform entered the market in early 2020 but due to unprecedented Covid2019 crisis it had to push back some of its plans. With production resuming in September, Aha is back on track to lure one of the largest entertainment markets in India. From the beginning, it has opted for a subscription plan priced at Rs 365 per year. While the company has no plans to make the streaming service ad-based in near future, it might not overlook advertising revenue from other sources like branded content.

It is not easy to sustain in a cash-burning business that demands huge investment but does not offer immediate profit. However, Aha management has emphasised that they will not compromise on content quality and user experience. Although the production cost may not reach the level of Hindi shows, the company claimed it is pumping money into the venture, without divulging any number.

The market for the newly launched platform is as big as 50 million Telugu speaking internet users who are already consuming online videos, shared Aha promoter Ramu Rao Jupally. As for paying propensity, CEO Ajit Thakur said that they believe this entire market will be ready to pay in future, but 25 per cent – that’s around 12 million users – are already willing to shell out cash for premium content. Aha is owned by Arha Media & Broadcasting Private Ltd, a joint venture by Geetha Arts and My Home Group.

The management is excited with the initial growth –  Aha has garnered five million downloads and 18 million unique visitors within a few months of the launch. Moreover, the platform has already clocked 2X subscribers compared to the target set initially.

But in the end, content is king. Rao stated that they already have 52 shows lined up for the next one year. They plan to release five shows during the Diwali season. While production was halted during the Covid2019 crisis, the platform still offered one fresh show every week to prevent subscriber churn. Initially, they had opted for acquisition aggressively, but going forward the ratio of original and acquired will be 70:30.

At the moment, major international and domestic players are gradually increasing investment in the regional markets which could increase the competition for the new entrant. However, Thakur appeared confident while delineating Aha’s frequency, volume of content, sharply curated content including films, best creative minds working for the platform would talk in their favour.

“On the distribution strategy, we have been a bit conservative. We have positioned ourselves wherever the audience has touch points like LG, Sony, Roku, Firestick, Samsung. But we have not pursued aggressive partnerships with other aggregators yet. Once we do that, our organic growth will get affected. We want to test the potential of how far we can get an audience on our own. So we are available across all platforms but we have not really pursued aggregators’ strategy.”

As for tie-ups with broadband providers, Aha has sealed the deal with ACR Fibernet only, “because we were able to do it on equal terms,” added Thakur.

The road to profitability is a long and winding one for an OTT platform due to the high cost required for content, marketing, and product. However, Rao is optimistic Aha would be able to break even within three-four years post debut, though it’s still early days to make a definite projection.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/20/pan.jpg?itok=tTyF0AZq
Vidnet 2021: Stakeholders need to come together to suppress piracy

NEW DELHI: Following the imposition of a nationwide lockdown in March, Indians were confined to their homes at odds and ends. There were no live sporting events, cinema halls were shuttered and TV channels were playing stale programming on loop; the only platforms supplying fresh content were OTTs...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/20/net.jpg?itok=Om8eo4gg
Netflix adds 8.5 mn paid subs in Q4 to blow past 200 mn mark

2020 may have been a disaster for most, but it’s the year Netflix struck gold. The global streaming giant in its Q4 results shared that it has added 8.5 million paid net additions and crossed the 200 million paid memberships mark.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/20/all.jpg?itok=n9ytnnTg
Vidnet 2021: Content diversification to define future of Indian OTTs

It’s undeniably the heyday of the youthful and dynamic Indian OTT landscape. After going from strength to strength in the past two-three years, it is now the fastest growing streaming market and is on course to becoming the biggest.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/20/vid.jpg?itok=Ahv-qjXE
Vidnet 2021: Technological advancements are a two-way street

The unprecedented growth and breakthrough of OTT platforms in Coronavirus-struck 2020 has been undeniably unprecedented. Streamers worldwide have reported a huge spike in traffic, with folks shelling out bucks hand over fist to keep themselves entertained in the age of social distancing.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/20/group.jpg?itok=eGf-IJ-C
Vidnet 2021: Local flavour drives OTT growth in MENA region

Consisting of 22 countries, speaking at least four different languages, and lined with a growing South Asian diaspora, the MENA region is one of the most diverse parts of the world rooted in traditions and culture.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/18/nimisha.jpg?itok=yww5IwD6
Nimisha Pandey to head Hindi originals for Zee5

MUMBAI: ZeeL has roped in National award-winning writer and director Nimisha Pandey to head the Hindi originals for its digital entertainment platform, Zee5. In this role, she will be responsible for creating quality original content for the OTT.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/18/whstapp.jpg?itok=qXrVkwl-
Delhi HC on WhatsApp privacy: ‘It’s voluntary, user can delete it’

KOLKATA: Amid the controversy surrounding WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy, the Delhi high court has remarked that it is a voluntary app and one can choose not to use the platform. The court was responding to a petition filed against the Facebook-owned messaging app following changes to its terms...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/18/dnet_0.jpg?itok=slqFnOdI
OTT summit Vidnet returns with first virtual edition

KOLKATA: Indiantelevision.com’s flagship OTT summit Vidnet is back with its latest edition. Like other large industry summits in the post-pandemic era, Vidnet is also going virtual this year. Contiloe has come on board as the supporting partner, Bitmovin and Pallycon are the technology partners;...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/01/18/zee5.jpg?itok=rpYSNCnf
Two senior Zee5 executives step down

KOLKATA: Rajneel Kumar and Jay Pandya, two senior executives at Zee5, have put down their papers.   Kumar joined Zee5 in 2018 as head - expansion projects & head of products, and was entrusted with expanding the consumer offering to increase users and revenue by building new business verticals...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required