Balaji Telefilms ties up with Reliance Jio for content distribution

Balaji Telefilms, the television content producer header by Ekta Kapoor, said it has decided to make its digital content available on various content applications of Reliance Jio.

So far, the most of the content was exclusive to Balaji Telefilm’s own app, ALTBalaji, which also competes with Jio’s apps.

According to Google’s Play Store, the Android version of ALTBalaji has been downloaded between 5-10 mln (50 lakh to 1 cr) times. In comparison, Jio Cinema is in the 10-50 mln category.

Balaji Telefilms said its app has been downloaded 11 mln times and it is now trying to access a wider audience for its content via apps like Jio Cinema and Jio TV.

Jio’s established user base of over 160 million telecom subscribers will help to strengthen the distribution of ALTBalaji content, it said.

Nachiket Pantvaidya, Group COO and CEO of ALTBalaji said the early response of the target audience for ALTBalaji has been good.

“Now we wish to be available inside all environments where audiences exist and consume Videos. We believe that our association with the Jio platforms will help us reach their consumers and let them enjoy the content we are proud to present,” he added.

It was not clear how much money Balaji Telefilms would get for allowing Jio to carry its content.

ALTBalaji is based on monthly subscriptions as well as individual pay-per-view options.

Jio is currently giving its apps for ‘free’ to anyone who buys a telecom connection from them. The apps cannot be used by non-Jio consumers.

The company plans to start charging for the apps at a future date, and has in the past indicated December 2018 as a likely date for making the apps ‘paid’.

ALTBalaji currently offers 14 original shows in different languages across various genres such as romance, mystery, drama, and comedy.

The digital platform also has two regional original shows in its portfolio – Maya Thirrai, which the company claims is the first original series targeting only web audiences in the Tamil language, and Dhimaner Dinkaal, a Bengali series.

The app also offers shows for children and stand-up comedy videos in Marathi, Punjabi and Gujarati.

Balaji Telefilms is the only Indian company to attempt to create televisions serials purely for the web audience.

Others in this arena include Amazon Prime and Netflix, who too are investing in original content creation in India.