Netflix did well with the classes; we went for the masses: Ektaa Kapoor
Subscription-based streaming and production company Netflix is not floundering in India, but it rather is going through a transitional phase, argues Ektaa Kapoor, joint managing director and creative director, Balaji Telefilms. “For a company to come to India, to work at a comparatively higher price point, they have amassed a large audience,” she avers.
According to Kapoor, it is a learning curve, and Netflix has been in this country only for four years. “There were a lot of people sitting at home; the urban voices on the digital spaces are a lot louder than the masses,” she explains, adding that when one foray into the masses, they find a very different voice, and that has culminated in this intermediary lull in performance.
Juxtaposing it with her own OTT platform, Kapoor tells that they work on frugal budgets. “We have very stringent and frugal budgets, and we have to create our world of content and subscribers in that,” she tells. Drawing over the rage that south Indian cinema has become, Kapoor concedes that hosting those films on ALTBalaji. “Even if we go out there and buy one south Indian movie, we won’t have the budgets for that,” she avers. It is why it does not envisage itself as a competitor to Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Video app for that matter. “We’re more of a genre app,” she says.
ALTBalaji targeted the masses in the hinterlands that could pay ₹35 per month. “Our target audience’s mother watches television; richer friends watch Netflix, and we gave that person from midtown India relatable content,” she explains. ALTBalaji penetrated into tier II and tier III audiences. “We decided to cater to that audience very specifically,” she adds. Although ALTBalaji does a big tentpole production every three months, the basic content strategy remained masses.