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Home / Industry / Media /  Allu Aravind’s streaming platform Aha to roll out ad-supported content in Oct
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NEW DELHI : Telugu over-the-top (OTT) video streaming platform Aha, that started out as a paid service in early 2020, plans to launch a hybrid model in October and will open the service to advertisers to improve revenue.

It is following in the footsteps of several streaming platforms that no longer see value in pure subscription models. Aha said it is launching a lower-priced, ad-supported tier to complement its paid content strategy to expand its existing base of two million subscribers. National and regional brands like Zomato, Instagram, HUL and ITC, will be seen advertising on the platform.

“We have already gained popularity as a Telugu platform among the 3-4 million SVoD (subscription based video-on-demand) audience base in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with over two million subscribers. However, going AVoD (advertising based video-on-demand) comes with the potential to reach out to nearly 10 times that audience. Viewers can pick and choose whether they want to watch the library at premium prices or at lower rates with ads," said Nitin Burman, head of non-subscription at Aha.

While the same content will be available both with and without ads, a premium subscription package may also allow programming to be streamed across multiple devices, Burman said. The platform already has over 50 advertisers on board, and is commanding rates that are higher than that of the industry, he claimed. Brands such as Sprite, Dabur, Centre Fresh, Himalaya, MTR, Bru, Bingo and Zomato have signed up to advertise on the platform, he said.

Vaasudev Koppineni, vice-president of content and strategy Aha, said the company has launched a Gold plan for content to be streamed in 4K ultra HD (high definition) combined with high-quality Dolby audio at a price of 699 per year. Its regular annual plan priced at 399, will also see lower-priced tiers that will allow ads from October.

Aha also offers a quarterly package for 149. “The idea is to give consumers the convenience to check out entry-level packages and be accessible to everyone within the ecosystem, whether they want to watch content for a lower price on their mobile or in high quality on a big screen at home. If consumers get a chance to discover content, they may convert into premium, paid subscribers over time," he added.

Film producer and distributor Allu Aravind-owned OTT is moving to a hybrid model much like others who feel paid subscriptions aren’t enough to thrive in a market like India. US streaming platform Netflix has already announced a model for cheaper plans, while Amazon Prime Video launched its free service miniTV last May.

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