Online streaming player Lionsgate expects a 50 per cent growth rate in its subscriber base in India.

In an interview with businessline, Amit Dhanuka, EVP, Lionsgate said, “For this year, a 50 per cent growth rate will be a good one.” For the past two years, Lionsgate’s Indian streaming platform has been growing by 100 per cent year on year. 

Dhanuka attributes this exponential growth to a relatively small base. “For the past couple of years we have grown hundred per cent year-on-year,” he said. “That itself speaks of how we look at the business in India,” he added.

Dhanuka also said that they were in multiple markets. “We opened up in Indonesia, we opened up in the Philippines, because we saw value in those markets for the content to be brought to the table. While consumption of content in English continues to grow, we also have compelling Hindi content. We also syndicated movies, and we found takers for that as well.”

Dhanuka added that on user request Lionsgate Play has also dubbed its content library to six seven languages, including Tamil, Telegu and Kannada. 

The Hollywood studio Lionsgate provides its independent service largely as a bundled service with telcos, such as Vodafone Idea and Jio and OTT aggregators like Tata Play. “ We’ve been pioneers in bundling with telecom companies, which has generated significant returns, particularly through multi-OTT bundling,” he said. 

As the Indian media market, particularly the streaming market struggles to monetise their platforms efficiently, large streaming providers such as Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar, JioCinema are constantly re-imagining new models to improve their profit margins. 

Hybrid models, which have a free ad tier and a paid subscription tier, have become popular amongst streaming firms. In this context, Dhanuka said that Lionsgate Play has no immediate plan to shift to that model. “The models remain constant, regardless of scale. Eventually, the primary factors distinguishing them are investments in technology, content, and marketing, alongside revenue generation. Globally, we operate on a subscription-based model, including in India. However, given the unique characteristics of the Indian market, we may explore alternative models in the future. Presently, we’re satisfied with our progress,” Dhanuka explained.

“We aim to ensure that when we reach out to customers and present them with a hybrid model, it truly resonates with them. While we’re open to the idea of a hybrid model, we’re not rushing into it,” he added.