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India's overcrowded OTT industry will see consolidation in next three years, says ALTBalaji’s Divya Dixit

In an interaction with, the senior VP and marketing head of ALTBalaji says only those that tell great stories and have a loyal audience base or the ones with deep pockets will survive. The rest will either merge or liquidate in the next few years

Divya Dixit

India’s rapidly expanding over the top (OTT) services space is likely to see consolidation in the next few years as the cost of generating good content and maintaining a loyal viewer base is too high, feels Divya Dixit, Senior Vice-President and marketing head of ALTBalaji.

India's OTT space has more than a dozen small and big players, including the existing TV broadcasters and the foreign giants such as Amazon and Netflix. According to a BCG report, India's OTT market will grow to $5 billion from the existing $500 million by 2023. Even though the growth is exponential, Dixit believes that only a few will be able to keep pace with the quality and viewers ever changing taste.

“In next three to four years there will be consolidation in the OTT space. There will be two kinds of platforms that will remain — the platform that tell great stories with loyal audience base or the platforms with really deep pockets — the rest will either merge or liquidate,” she told in an interaction.

With new platforms emerging, differentiated content has become the focus point to attract audience. Dixit feels that the platform that provides non-conventional content and personalised content will attract audience. “The platforms should start doing the fine-tuning of content. Like in ALTBalaji, we do our research to figure which show is watched by which audience and accordingly position the shows, I feel the success of OTT will be based on two reasons — quality content, which is not available on TV. Apart from content, the second part is convenience; the consumers can watch whatever they want whenever they want,” she said.

In an interview with earlier, Nachiket Pantvaidya, Group COO, Balaji Telefilms and CEO, ALTBalaji, had said that the OTT platform was aiming to acquire eight million paid subscribers and  achive break even by 2020. Currently the platform has 2.3 million monthly active users with 8.9 million ever subscribed users, as per the company's latest stock exchange filing.

To achieve the goal, the platform is focusing on producing quality content and has offered several offerings through partnerships with money wallets like Freecharge. The company gets 70% of revenue from telcos while 30% of it comes directly through its platform.

“We are making efforts to reach the vision. We are concentrating on launching record breaking shows. Our latest show Apharan has been an absolute record breaker in terms of subscribers, conversations and many more shows will be launched soon. We have planned campaigns for our library content. The campaigns are apt for ALTBalaji shows which need to be told again and again to the people to make them understand the value of content that is available. We are also working with our partners in multiple ways be it a Freecharge bundling deal or Gaana bundling deal. We are out there telling people to come to the app for great experience and that all is part of getting subscribers,” Dixit said.

The streaming service has lined up 80 shows for launch by 2020. The platform has committed a content pipeline of over 40 shows till 2019 end. By next quarter, the platform is planning to launch new seasons of three popular shows and three new shows — Gandii Baat S2, Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain S2, Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabat S3. The new shows to launch are Puncch Beat, Coldd Lassi Aur Chicken Masala and Hero Vardiwala.

Speaking about the content, Dixit said, “We got an action-packed line-up for the next quarter. At ALTBalaji, the first thing is concept, for us concept is the story. We are planning to put out lot of shows that span across different genres in fiction and non-fiction. We will be focusing more on non-conventional stories. The idea is to speak to the digital consumer in their language. In future we will also look into creating non-fiction shows.”

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