She has been the queen of TV soap operas for close to two decades. Ekta Kapoor, Joint Managing Director, Balaji Telefilms, wanted to not just create content but also own a TV channel. The dream, however, remained unfulfilled, as the broadcast business needed deep pockets. Even as a content maker, Kapoor wanted to do shows where intellectual property, or, IP, rights could be hers. She wasnt too successful in that also. "I can take my business to the next level only if I own the IP," she says.
Kapoor has finally achieved the dream of owning her own platform and IP with the launch of her over-the-top, or OTT, platform, Alt Balaji, in April this year. The OTT is also a deep-pocket business, but with RIL investing Rs 413 crore in Balaji Telefilms, funding wont be an issue. "Our target is to exit the first 12 months at two million paid subscribers. We should reach four-five million in 36 to 48 months," says Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO, Alt Balaji.
He is confident of breaking even in 36 months. At a subscription fee of Rs 100 per quarter, Kapoor plans to offer 200 hours of content per year. Pantvaidya is confident of pulling it off in spite of competition from giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. "In the long run, it is the quality of storytelling that will matter," he says.