With Reliance joining in, we get more money to create more shows while riding on their distribution strength: Manav Sethi, CMO, ALTBalaji

Manav Sethi, Chief Marketing Officer, ALTBalaji on the OTT platform’s marketing strategy, partnerships and how the recent investment by Reliance will further fuel its growth

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Sep 4, 2017 4:40 PM

Signing up a number of deals and partnerships with big players such as Jio and Vodafone Play, SVOD platform ALTBalaji seems to be on a growth spree. Manav Sethi, Chief Marketing Officer, ALTBalaji, spoke to exchange4media on the platform’s marketing plans, its recent deal with Jio, other tie-ups and betting big on regional content too. Excerpts: 


Tell us about your marketing strategy and marketing mix?


Our marketing strategy is heavily into digital only. We haven’t used offline as much and even from the marketing budget standpoint only 10% will go in offline. The rest 90% of it is online because we as an organization believe that’s where our consumers are.


How have your recent partnerships helped you scale up?


From a distribution standpoint, we are available on almost across all wallets so you could pay using Mobikwik or PayTm. We have structured consumer acquisition deals with them where they have helped us acquire consumers. All these brands have first three episodes that the consumer can sample for free. We have a deal with Amazon Fire too. So if you are a Fire user you can actually watch our shows as well. From an ubiquitous standpoint, we don’t want a consumer to be narrowed down from an access standpoint. Even our recent partnership with Vodafone Play was from a distribution standpoint because Vodafone brings to the table another 10-15 million potential users who will get to consume these episodes.


Can you give us a sense of your marketing budget?


We don’t have the luxury to spend as much as Star, Amazon or Netflix. Our annual budget would be somewhere in the range of Rs 30-40 crore. We just believe in spending smartly.


Tell us about your focus on regional content and reception received so far?


We launched a Tamil show in April and the response has been huge, which is why we see incremental consumption coming from not just India but also Singapore and the Middle Eastern countries. The countries outside India are value drivers because they are my average revenue per user. Riding on that we have just launched a Bengali show too. This means that there is humongous appetite for regional shows if they have the propensity to relate to sense and sensibilities. We look at a show from deep-rooted drama standpoint which is why we invest in storytelling; this is also why we are the only completely ad-free and subscription-based platform in this country and globally.


Following the recent investment of Reliance in ALTBalaji, what are your growth expectations?


 During the first three months of the launch, we realised that a significant share from a telco standpoint, the maximum consumption was from Jio. About 55% of the pie was singularly from Jio and Jio being the largest data-led telco always wanted to partner with an entity that has strength in content-creation and that’s where ALTBalaji came into play. The idea is that we get more money to create more shows while riding on the distribution strength of Reliance, which is unparalleled.


Can you tell us about the number of downloads and average viewing time per user that you have been able to achieve?


We have been able to achieve about 1 million web users and 7 million downloads. The second metrics is that an average visitor has viewed more than 20 minutes of content. Google says that we are the only platform that gets more usage of viewership on mobile data as against the Wifi, which means that consumers are paying from their data container to view us. It is the happiest state to be in.

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