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‘The future looks promising for OTT platforms says: ALT Balaji CEO Nachiket Pantvaidya

September 28th, 2020 | by vBollywood Author
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‘The future looks promising for OTT platforms says: ALT Balaji CEO Nachiket Pantvaidya
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The pandemic, it seems, has been kind to digital streamers, with OTT players in India observing a steady spike in subscriptions.

ALTBalaji, a platform emerging on the country’s digital frontier, is reportedly adding 17,000 subscriptions per day as compared to its average of 10,600 in March.

The company has also reported that they are breaking even and even able to gain a profit, no small feat in the middle of the slowdown. In this interview, Nachiket Pantvaidya, Group COO, Balaji Telefilms and CEO, ALTBalaji, speaks about taking the brand to the next level.

ALTBalaji recorded a revenue growth of 88% in the new FY. Other OTT players have also observed massive surges. Is it fair to say the lockdown has been a major boom for streamers. To that he said : India’s direct-to-stream video industry has witnessed an incremental growth of 240 percent between 2016 and 2019, and it will continue to grow at the current pace. That said, the lockdown has certainly played a vital role in propelling subscription growth across OTT platforms. With the Indian market being one of the most profitable ones, the future certainly looks promising for OTT.

Nachiket Pantvaidya talked about audience behaviour he has observed: In the initial phase, India being a price-sensitive market, there was skepticism amongst the audience to pay for digital content.

He said that the mindset is gradually changing as audiences today are willing to pay for good quality content. Also, just as television and theatres were dominating the audience for years, the digital screen is a refreshing change where they appreciate unique narratives.

At ALTBalaji, they are focusing on ensuring the Hindi-speaking markets and then move ahead. With the diversity in audience taste, we need to provide at least 10-12 shows per language to attract viewers of that respective language. The next 9-12 months will see us build our multilingual library, starting with the Southern region with the launch of a slew of vernacular shows. Catering to a wide and diverse audience, we do see a host of our Hindi offerings dubbed in Indian and International languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bhasa and Arabic.

There’s been an outbreak of direct-to-digital releases. Your recent production, Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, released on Netflix. ALTBalaji are a combination of thriller, drama, romance, youth drama, horror, comedy, amongst others.

With the PM’s latest announcement on 74th Independence Day, where over six lakh villages will connect through an optical fibre cable, it will definitely boost the consumption of digital content and act as a boon for OTT. With the Universal Self-Regulation Code in place, the team are certain that the audience will be empowered in making informed choices. Also, the grievance redressal body will further streamline the process.

Photo courtesy: www.cinemaexpress.com

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