Music label, film company, and hardware seller Saregama’s operational revenues grew by 60% year-on-year to Rs 150 crores for the quarter ended December 31, 2018, from revenues of Rs 93.7 crores in Q3FY18. The growth was driven by a 68% jump in the company’s music business revenues to Rs 138.5 crore from Rs 82.3 crore a year ago.
In fact, the music business brought in 92% of the company’s quarterly revenues, while the TV/films business brought in 8% of the revenue. Profits from the music segment grew 45% YoY to Rs 32.3 crore, which solely drove overall company profit.
Revenues from the films/TV business remained largely stagnant (as compared to the music business) growing only 6% YoY to Rs 12.10 crore from Rs 11.4 crore in the same quarter last year.
The music segment includes licensing of Saregama’s 120,000 songs (across 18 languages) to streaming services, radio, TV, and YouTube streaming, outside of WAP mobile services like caller ring tones. In 2017, the company launched its hardware product Carvaan, a portable music player with an inbuilt music catalogue of 5,000 old Hindi movie songs, with AM/FM radio and Bluetooth support. The company has now sold 1 million units, with projections of expected sales of another 9 million units in FY19. 297,000 units were sold in Diwali 2018, recording a 30% jump in sales over the preceding quarter. The company has also added nearly 4,000 dealers for the device, and has 19,600 dealers in all.
Saregama has spun-off the original Carvaan into a small, pocketable version Carvaan Mini 2.0 launched in September 2018. Other variations are Carvaan Gold and Carvaan Premium, besides versions of the product for Bengali, Marathi, and Tamil music, which were introduced over the past year. Meanwhile, the company has announced another Carvaan product – Carvaan GO, to be launched soon.
Music licensing and YouTube streams
Saregama’s OTT streams, which are playbacks of music licensed to OTT services like JioSaavn, Gaana, or Wynk Music, crossed the 1 billion mark in the last quarter. OTT streams have increased further this quarter to 1045 million streams, a 55% YoY increase from 670 million streams in Q3FY18.
YouTube views more than doubled year-over-year from 365 million views to 784 million views this quarter alone. Its worth noting that YouTube views are not very far behind OTT streams: in fact, YouTube views stood at 914 million last quarter, when OTT streams had crossed the 1 billion mark.
Saregama’s movie production unit Yoodlee Films was launched in 2017, and has released a Netflix Original ‘AshcharyaChakit‘ and is set to release another ‘Music Teacher’. The company is also looking at a 12 movie deal with an Indian broadcaster or digital platform, and another deal is in the pipeline. The TV/films business is currently losing money recording a total loss of Rs 76 lakhs in FY18 so far.