wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

On ALTBalaji’s deal for syndicating content to Airtel TV

We missed this earlier: ALTBalaji, the digital content application from Balaji Telefilms is offering its digital content portfolio on the Airtel’s Airtel TV app. The shows on offer include “Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat, Haq, One Upon a Time in Mumbai and Lootera”. Airtel now claims to offer content from over 350+ live TV channels, over 10,00 movies and shows. The Airtel TV app is free for Airtel Postpaid and prepaid customers till June 2018. A few points to note:

MediaNama’s take

1. Not the first such deal, but noteworthy: This content distribution deal is interesting because it’s an instance of Balaji actually licensing its content to a third-party, instead of selling its own bundle (the ALT Balaji app) to drive subscription. This isn’t the first such deal: the first was with Reliance Jio, in January 2018, for Jio Cinema (movies) and Jio TV (shows). That deal was understandable: Reliance Jio’s parent owns 26% in ALT Balaji’s parent company, Balaji Telefilms; that there was going to be content shared by ALT Balaji with Jio was a given. But the Airtel deal is interesting because Jio competes Airtel. It’s a bit surprising that Jio actually let this deal happen.

2. A change of approach:  One of the questions we would have asked Ekta Kapoor (we had requested an interview when the service launched) was the initial decision to not syndicate content when there was great demand from platforms for original content. Balaji, as we pointed out subsequently, was trying to build a niche platform with original content for itself, and it was this exclusivity which was driving subscriptions. This was bold, for a producer. While most others were willing to create content for syndication for platforms/aggregators, Balaji had chosen to compete with them. Now the content is no longer exclusive our questions are different: what led to this change in approach? What kind of an impact is this going to have on subscription revenues for ALTBalaji? Will it be open to inking similar deals with the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime? Doesn’t it see telecom operators as competition, and not partners?

The challenge, for Balaji, really, is increasing consumption. It doesn’t have the ocean of content that Netflix does. What’s not clear from the press releases is whether the content that has been given to the telecom operators is the entire catalog of original content, or just content which was released last year. One way of still driving subscription for ALTBalaji would be to syndicate only old content.

3. Free for now and revenue later? Airtel TV is free for now, but, as the PR states, “till June 2018”. What’s not clear here is whether Balaji negotiated a payment for views/syndication till June 2018, or whether they get paid nothing till then and only when the platform starts making money. Remember that Apple had to buckle and pay artists during its 3 month trial period for Apple Music, following Taylor Swift’s push-back. Here’s an archived version of Taylor Swift’s letter.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

4. Umm… why isn’t Airtel TV called Wynk TV? Or Wynk Music called Airtel Music? Or why are Airtel and Jio even in the content business? Or why haven’t they launched their own app stores? Never mind…

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

While the market reality of popular crypto-assets like Bitcoin may undergo little change, the same can't be said for stablecoins.

News

Bringing transactions related to crypto-assets within the tax net could make matters less fuzzy.

News

Loopholes in FEMA and the decentralised nature of crypto-assets point to a need for effective regulations.

News

The need of the hour is for lawmakers to understand the systems that are amplifying harmful content.

News

For drone delivery to become a reality, a permissive regulatory regime is a prerequisite.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ