Balaji Telefilms’ digital venture ALT Digital is all set to enter the video over-the-top (OTT) industry with the roll-out of its own video-streaming service under ALT Balaji from April 16. The video OTT industry currently has close to 30 players including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Voot and SonyLiv apart from Spuul and Hooq, among others.
“While broadcasters backed video OTT apps like Hotstar have largely a combination of television content, with a bit of English content and sports like Indian Premier League (IPL), other apps such as Netflix have premium English content targeted at the premium urban population. We, on the other hand, are targeting the urban mass, who are somewhere between ‘Narcos’ and ‘Naagin’ when it comes watching content online,” said Sameer Nair, group CEO, Balaji Telefilms.
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The subscription-based platform is priced at Rs 60 per month. Moreover, the company is running a launch offer, as per which the company is charging Rs 30 per month for a quarterly subscription pack. In its effort to ensure viewers are able to sample the content, the company will release the first three episodes on YouTube, followed by releasing two more episodes on the platform. “We want viewers to come to the platform on their own. Hence, the first five episodes of any series will be free to watch. Post which users can subscribe to the platform,” added Nair.
The platform initially will have six-seven original shows, with a new show being added every fortnight. Eventually in a year, ALT Balaji will have 250 hours of original programming. The company is spending in the range of `25-40 lakh on creating per half hour episodes. “While 70% of the content will be in Hindi, the remaining 30% will be regional content in various languages including Tamil, Bengali and Gujarati. Also, we will soon be introducing kids’ content on the platform,” said Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO, ALT Digital Media Entertainment.
Currently, while 30% of the content is being produced in-house by Balaji’s own team, the rest of the content is being commissioned.