Balaji Telefilms reveals February date for VOD trial | VOD | News | Rapid TV News
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Balaji Telefilms is going live with a technical launch on 21 February of its much-anticipated Indian video streaming service ALT Balaji, which promises to undercut competitors’ pricing policies.

Balaji Telefilms logoThe video-on-demand (VOD) service will be freely available in India until its commercial launch on 15 April. Around 30% of streamed content on the platform will be self-produced by Balaji Telefilms.

The Ekta Kapoor headed company, which makes Colors’ hit Indian supernatural TV drama Naagin, plans to create about 300 hours of original content for the VOD service in the year, starting with about 60-80 hours.

Although initial episodes of original series will be offered without charge, full access to content will eventually be priced at about INR60 a month. This compares with the Netflix price tag of INR600, Balaji Telefilms’ CEO Sameer Nair told India’s Economic Times .

“There are 165 million cable and satellite homes, that is the size of the market, it has got little headroom probably get to 180-190 but there are about 25 million cable satellite homes, of this 165 that are sort of lapsing from the Naagins and that kind of content, they are sort of moving along. And the other extreme of this firmament [is] Narcos, which is Netflix, and there is this giant world between Narcos and Naagin that exists. That is what we are going after,” Nair told the paper.

Bollywood has catered for this market, with films such as Sultan, Dangal, Pink, Kapoor & Sons and Neerja, but it has not yet been addressed by television, which is where over-the-top (OTT) propositions with strong storytelling credentials, such as ALT Balaji, can succeed, Nair believes.

Although Balaji Telefilms is scaling down its movie production, the company will continue its core business creating content for broadcasters, as “the TV business ... has lots of headroom”. However, “the big play is digital,” said Nair.

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