ALTBalaji's content deal with ZEE5 signed in July 2019 is aimed at getting a committed amount of revenue and increasing direct subscriptions, said company executives, Sanjay Dwivedi (Balaji Telefilms group CFO) and Nachikhet Pantvaidya (group COO and ALT Digital CEO) on an investor call last week. The two will co-create over 60 originals, to be streamed exclusively on the two VOD services, behind a paywall. So, ALTBalaji will transition from a multiple-party free model — it currently offers its content on 6-7 partners, including all three Indian telcos — to a single-partner paid environment. The company management said that customer acquisition costs today are prohibitive, and it will likely lose money on every consumer it acquires — unless it mixes direct acquisition with partnership acquisition. "We are therefore trying to move the group, which was like about Rs. 90 Crores in loss last year including ALT, to an almost breakeven situation by March 2020, so that the TV plus movie profits and ALT losses all cancel out each other. This will move to a positive number in the next financial year starting March 2020, ending March 2021. So we want to make this business profitable," said the management. It's worth noting that ALTBalaji is operating at losses of ₹36.8 crore this quarter, which is up 28% YoY from losses of ₹28.76 crore. ALTBalaji registered a loss of ₹30.07 crore for Q4FY19 and a loss of ₹114.92 for FY19. ALTBalaji will get money from ZEE5: The deal — currently for two years —…
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