After six months of investment by Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), over-the-top video (OTT) content provider ALTBalaji has entered into a strategic partnership with telecommunication arm of RIL i.e. Reliance Jio to offer original content on RJio’s digital platforms.
The collaboration will help ALTBalaji to leverage the fast-growing video consumption on the back of low-cost smartphones and cheap data packs in which Reliance Jio carries the baton. Besides, the tie-up will give a tough competition to Jio rival Airtel in OTT space.
In July last year, RIL invested Rs 413.28 crore to buy out about 25% stake in Balaji Telefilms’ subscription-based video streaming service ALT Balaji that launched in April 2017.
Meanwhile, ALT Balaji claims to have more than 11 million downloads and is present in 90 countries. ALTBalaji said that Jio’s established user base of over 160 million will help the OTT player to strengthen the distribution of its content.
Led by Nachiket Pantvaidya, ALTBalaji recently premiered its biggest and most ambitious original show, Bose: Dead/Alive, which established its association with Reliance. The platform currently offers 14 original shows in different languages across various genres such as romance, mystery, drama, and comedy.
Earlier this week, Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Phone dethroned Samsung to become number one feature phone brand. The company is also planning to go public by the year-end. So far, RIL has invested $31 billion in its telecom venture, which was launched in September 2016.
To fortify its reach Balaji had partnered with smartphone manufacturers, mobile wallets, and Ola’s in-cab entertainment service Ola Play. The company also counts Microsoft, YouTube, Apple, Google, Airtel Payments Bank and Vodafone Play platform as partners.
The video streaming service had gone live on Amazon’s Fire TV Stick in 2017. With Amazon Fire TV integration, ALTBalaji has a reach to all countries that Amazon operates in.
In 2016, global online video streaming leaders including Netflix and Amazon Prime had made their entry into Indian market while Star-owned Hotstar, Voot (Viacom 18) and OZee (Zee TV). Broadcaster Hotstar commands top position in OTT space in India.
The development was first reported by ET.