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Hotstar’s Fy19 Net Loss Widens To Rs. 554.38 Cr

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Jyothi Venkatesh

Video streaming platform Hotstar’s holding company Novi Digital Entertainment’s loss for fiscal 2018-19 has widened by 42.5% to Rs. 554.38 crore, according to a report in Financial Express.Based on the company’s financials sourced from RoC, Novi Digital’s revenue from operations surged 95% to Rs. 1,112.74 crore. Total expenses jumped to Rs. 1,677.51 crore in FY19, from Rs. 965.7 crore in FY18, according to Television Post, whereas the Video streaming major Netflix’s India unit has reported a 700% growth in its revenue aided by growth in the subscriber base due to investment in local content and marketing.

According to Netflix India’s regulatory filing sourced by The Economic Times from Veratech Intelligence, the company reported revenues of Rs. 466.7 crore for FY19 with a net profit of Rs. 5.1 crore.In FY18, Netflix India’s revenue and net profit stood at Rs. 58 crore with Rs. 20 lakh respectively. However, the FY18 financials is only for seven months starting September last year after the actual transfer to a local distribution entity from Singapore.As reported earlier, Novi Digital had posted a loss of Rs 489 crore for the fiscal ended March 2017, which is a 20% increase over the previous fiscal’s loss of Rs 408.9 crore.

The company’s revenue from operations increased by 81.4% to Rs 321 crore from Rs 178.5 crore in FY16. Subscription saw a four-fold increase to Rs 129.4 crore from Rs 24.17 crore while ad revenue was up 24% to Rs 168 crore. The revenue from licensing of content rights stood at Rs 23 crore compared to Rs 19.2 crore in FY16.In March 2019, Hotstar had received a fresh round of fund infusion from its parent company Star India and Star US Holdings. The two companies have together pumped in Rs 1066 crore ($153 million) into Novi Digital.

The fresh round of funding came as Hotstar has started scaling up its content and technology. The platform has launched a new label Hotstar Specials under which it will come out with original digital content. Hotstar has also been ramping up its platform by aggressively acquiring third party content.The fund infusion was reported by business intelligence platform paper.vc. As per the platform, Star India has invested Rs 832 crore while the remaining Rs 234 crore has come from Star US holdings.It is pertinent to note that the fund infusion has come nearly seven months after Novi Digital received Rs 516 crore from Star US. In 2017, Star India had injected Rs 1233 crore ($192.04 million) into Hotstar.

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