Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio) reported a net profit of Rs 510 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 (Q4 FY18). Its operating revenue for the period stood at Rs 7,128 crore, while its EBITDA for the quarter stood at Rs 2,694 crore. In the previous quarter, the company had posted a slightly lower profit of Rs 504 crores, with an operating revenue of Rs 6,879 crore and EBITA of Rs 2,628 crore.

As of the end of the quarter (March 31), the company claims to have 186.6 million subscribers, up 16.5% from 160.1 million in the previous quarter. The company doesn’t mention how many of these are active. The company doesn’t mention how many of these are active. According to data released by TRAI, in November 2017 only 81.45% of Reliance Jio’s 152.07 million connections were active back then.

Subscriber metrics

  • Data consumption:  9.7 GB per month per user. Only about a 100 MB higher per user compared to the last quarter.
  • VOLTE voice: 716 minutes of VOLTE voice per month per user, up 3.1% Q-o-Q
  • Video consumption: 13.8 hours per month per user, up almost 3% Q-o-Q .
  • ARPU: Rs 137 per month, down a whopping 11% from the previous quarter.

Operational metrics

  • 506 crore GB data consumption in the quarter. A rise of 17.4% from the last quarter.
  • 414 crore minutes of VOLTE voice per day. 22% higher than the previous quarter.
  • 240 crore hours per month of video consumption. A 20% rise from the previous quarter.

Saavn acquisition

In March, RIL announced that it had agreed to a deal to buy out music streaming platform Saavn for $104 million in cash and rest in stock, to merge it with its own digital music service JioMusic, valuing the combined streaming entity at about $1 billion. As per the terms of the deal, the Mukesh Ambani owned company will hold roughly three-fourths of the merged entity, with JioMusic’s implied valuation at $670 million, RIL said in a statement to the press.

In addition to the merger, Reliance will also invest up to $100 million of which $20 million will be invested upfront. The company’s earnings presentation refers to the merged entity as, “India’s largest digital music platform for music, media & artists.”

What will be interesting to see is how the merger affect the current nature of both services. Jio Music for one is free for Reliance Jio subscribers, has it’s own app and is tied down to a Jio Phone number. Jio Music is not operator agnostic, i.e. if you have an Airtel connection you cannot sign up for Jio Music.

Saavn, on the other hand, is both platform and operator agnostic, you can download the app on any supported device (Windows, Android, iOS) or even launch the service from a web browser. Saavn offers a free tier as well as a premium tier priced at Rs 99 a month. Saavn’s service itself is more curated and in our opinion polished compared to Jio Music. Saavn also hosts some original content including podcasts and radio shows.

Jio Payments bank begins operations

Jio Payments Bank started its operations earlier this month, the RBI announced in a release, making it the sixth payments bank to roll out after the central bank gave its in-principle approval to 11 applicants in August 2015. Jio Payments Bank Ltd is a 70-30 joint venture between Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and India’s largest lender State Bank of India. The payments bank only gets a brief mention in the earnings report as its operations commenced after the end of the quarter.