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ALT Balaji has subscriber base of 3 million, yearly ARPU of Rs 130

ALT Balaji has a subscriber base of 3 million and a yearly Average Revenue Per User of Rs 130, Balaji Telefilms said in its earnings call for Q4FY20. 1.2 million of these subscriptions were added in the quarter ending March 2020. The company’s annual plan costs Rs 300, so this indicates that most subscribers are currently buying quarterly subscriptions — the company confirmed this, saying that 70% of users on average (about 2.1 million) are quarterly subscribers who pay Rs 100 for three month packs.

  • Streaming cost per subscriber is 10–15% of ARPU: “As of now I cannot reveal the data [on streaming cost per subscriber] but I can tell you as of March it will be mostly somewhere between 10% and 15% of the ARPU so the customer is three month customers if he gives Rs.100 then it will that be that much and if he gives Rs 300 then that percentage is calculated on that,” Balaji Telefilms said. That comes out to around Rs 10–15 for quarterly subscribers.
  • ALT Balaji to be profitable next year: “We have always said that [ALT Balaji will be profitable] between 36 to 48 months after launch. We will have one quarter of break even I think because of COVID we can say between 39 months, means for now from July in the next one year one of the quarters we will definitely show profit,” the company said.
  • Company expects COVID subscriber spike to subside: The company said that its post-lockdown spike in subscribers (whose specifics we will only know when they release results for the subsequent quarter) will subside eventually; but the net increase will still be a 50% increase. “We started off well with 70% increase in subscriber rate, but I think it will go down to around Rs.14000, Rs.15000 per day now earlier it was Rs.17000 per day from Rs.10000,” the company said.
  • Acquisition costs go down while streaming costs go up: “Our marketing expense will stay constant year-onyear give or take a few % but because our acquisition cost per subscriber is going down and it has gone down from 120-130 to around 80-90 levels and expected it will be around 70 levels as we go on putting in more shows because of that we are getting more bank for our buck on our advertising budgets, especially for acquiring subscribers, per subscriber cost is going down. Secondly our tech cost is going up but I think will work but that is largely because our direct subscriber base and our viewing is nearly doubling every year year-onyear. So there is some part of the increase of our tech cost will be in tech improvement but largely the streaming cost for us going up year-on-year because our business is growing,” the company said.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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