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‘Transaction video-on-demand model has largely been untapped in India’

The newly-launched BookMyShow Stream hopes to change that by nurturing India’s movie consumption habit in a digital format

The recent phenomenal demand and reception for 'Zack Snyder’s Justice League on BookMyShow Stream', reflects the potential that the TVOD model holds

As of March 21, 2021, Zack Snyder’s Justice League saw over100,000 streams sold on BookMyShow Stream, including in the pre-booking phase. This newly-launched innovation is an extension of the company’s existing movie ticketing business. According to Ashish Saksena, COO, Cinemas, BookMyShow, this new service is a step forward towards nurturing India’s movie consumption habit in a digital format. Based on the transaction video-on-demand (TVOD) model, which is still in a nascent stage in the country, BookMyShow Stream hopes to follow the global trend. As part of this, TVOD comes immediately after the theatrical release for a film, but precedes the release on subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platforms. The TVOD model follows a pay-per-view format, which allows users to pay only for the content that they watch, similar to buying a movie ticket in a theatre.

“The content library of BookMyShow Stream has been specially curated with handpicked titles from across the world. With this, we are bringing forth a neutral hosting platform that gives equal visibility to content creators and production houses in a model that has been unutilised and unavailable in India at such a massive scale of targeted consumer reach,” elaborates Saksena. So, after the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on the platform, one will see more titles being added to the list in April, with Oscar-nominated titles such as Sound of Metal and Judas and the Black Messiah, and blockbusters like Godzilla vs Kong, Another Round, Tom & Jerry, and Ammonite making an appearance.

The catalogue includes, but is not limited to, post-release and unreleased films. Consumers now could watch films they may have missed in theatres or ones they liked enough to rent, buy or own. There is also an option to experience films from around the world that don’t get released in India.

“We have partnerships with some of the largest global studios, production houses, world renowned film festivals, independent foreign film distributors and regional content providers,” says Saksena. “Through our vast array of content offerings, we aim to make TVOD a preferred choice of content consumption format.”

Some of the partners include Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, NBCUniversal and Paramount Pictures, regional content providers like Divo and Sillymonks, and independent film distributors like PictureWorks, Superfine Films, Impact Films, Kahwa Entertainment and VR films. The platform also brings films from the library of major Indian production houses such as Viacom18, Shemaroo and Rajshri Productions.

BookMyShow Stream has been launched with over 600 titles and 72,000 hours of global content from countries such as Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Slovakia and Netherlands, among others. “Over 40 percent of the content is currently exclusive to the platform and this will keep growing as we move along,” elaborates Saksena. “The platform features multiple marquee premieres every week.” The content is divided into categories such as Premieres, Exclusives, World Cinema, Missed in Theatres and dedicated bundles, based on data insights of user behaviour and preferences.

The pandemic has spelt tough times for businesses across categories. However, according to Saksena, in BookMyShow’s two-decade-long journey, the company has been challenged time and time again, be it through the dot com burst in 2000-01, or the recession in 2008, and the now the ongoing pandemic. “Situations like the pandemic, well-termed as ‘Black Swan Events’, are testing times for businesses to evaluate their existing approach and methodologies. At BookMyShow, we believe that planning well, with a continued focus on building a sustainable business model, is the key,” he says. “Our experience with deep macroeconomic crises in the past has taught us to maintain a conservative approach while being mindful of the unit economics at all times.”

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