Our Digital SVOD business Balaji Telefilms’ ALTBalaji has seen a significant increase in engagement levels as consumers are switching their content consumption online. ALTBalaji continues to be a leader in the original Hindi SVOD space and one of the few homegrown success stories in the OTT space.
Watch times and subscriptions have been seeing strong growth during this period and we are witnessing high level of growth in all our key markets and demographics. ALTBalaji is witnessing strong uptake of digital subscriptions with an average of 17,000subscriptions added per daypost lockdown vs an average of 10,600 in March 2020 pre lockdown a growth of 60% .As of date the platform has over 1.7m active direct subscribers.
ALTBalaji has also successfully completed the first ever syndication of a web series to a broadcaster with 3 hit digital shows now airing on Prime Time television. Karrle Tu Bhi Mohabbat, Baarish and Kehne Ko Humsafar Hain are now available between 9pm and 11pm on Zee TV. This deal help generate additional revenues for ALTBalaji via syndication feesand creates a larger consumer funnel for the digital platform ALTBalaji.
Since February we have added 5 shows including the runaway hits such as “Mentalhood” and “It Happened in Calcutta”. Shows launched in earlier months continue to see good engagement as consumers are now watching more of the library that we have successfully built. The ALTBalaji library as of date is at 60 shows and has the most popular shows for mass Indian audiences. ALTBalaji is very well placed to add more shows once the lock down is lifted.
Television Content Production: The company stopped all production on March 18th and had produced 199 hours of content for Q4 vs 219 hours in Q3. Balaji Telefilms is well positioned to restart production as soon as the situation returns to normalcy.
Movie Business: Balaji Telefilms currently has 3 movies in the pipeline of which K Tina was still under production at the time of the lockdown. Production work for the other two movies (Pagglait and Dolly Kitty Aur Who ChamakteSitare) are complete. We had no planned releases in the current quarter and are currently awaiting more clarity on the available windows to release Dolly Kitty AurWohChamakteSitare.
Given the national lockdown, all content production has come to a standstill, we continue to monitor the situation closely. We are very confident that demand for content will increase once the situation returns to normal and are well prepared to resume business and ramp up content sales once the lock down is over.
We continue to have a very strong balance sheet with zero debt and cash balance of Rs 141 crores as on 31st March 2020. In addition, we hold readily monetizable inventory and receivables of films totalling Rs 99 crores which will add to our cash balance. The effective cash balance of the Company stands at Rs 240 crores.
Balaji Telefilms has a 25 year track record and has built a resilient business model across TV, Movies and Digital and our overall business model, content track record, brand and financial position will create value for all our stakeholders.