Homegrown OTT player AltBalaji has disclosed its subscription base was rising before coronavirus lockdown even though the spike has been sharper during the three months of lockdown. Interestingly, the company has witnessed increase in subscriptions from remote areas as compared to urban towns.
Understanding the changing OTT behaviour in urban towns versus rural places, the percentage of traffic observed from top eight metros including Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Kolkata during the fourth quarter is 44 percent as compared to viewership from non-metros, tier 2 and tier 3 towns, and cities, which equals to 56 percent. It translates to an increase in subscriber base from the hinterlands, with them spending more time on the platform, hence providing a dual advantage.
According to the company, consumers are watching more shows, including older library content that offers a bouquet of different genres of content spread across 62 original shows.
"There has been substantial growth in the subscription of ALTBalaji even before the lockdown had begun and more importantly during the three months of lockdown. As per statistics, India's tier 2 & 3 towns have seen an upswing of internet users that has been hugely beneficial to the OTT platforms," says Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO ALTBalaji, and Group COO Balaji Telefilms.
With consumers restricted to their homes due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a significant growth in OTT content consumption.
"The last few months have been beneficial, in terms of content and subscribers' growth. The growing demand for new seasons of the popular shows including, Baarish 2 and Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain 3, among others, have also added to the brand popularity. Post lockdown, the target is to launch two shows every month, and we have got around 10-12 shows that are in various stages of production. We are the No. 1 player with 62 original shows in various genres, and we will continue fuelling that position by putting more shows on our platform," adds Pantvaidya.
AltBalaji is available at Rs 100 for three months and Rs 300 for one year subscription, and can be accessed on a host of devices including iOS and Andorid devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV stick, desktop browser amongst others.
To deepen its penetration in India, ALTBalaji partnered with Pay Point India to offer offline recharge for video-on-demand service. In the current pandemic, ALTBalaji, witnessed a strong uptake of digital subscriptions with an average of 17,000 subscriptions added per day post lockdown.
According to a recent survey, the percentage of increasing internet users in rural areas is surprisingly more than the urban cities. The latest report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (published in Times of India) suggests that rural India had 227 million users, 10 percent more than urban India's about 205 million.