Double-digit figures. That been the rate of growth of the home entertainment business over the last few years. Riding on a VCD boom, the sector grew by 50 per cent in 2003. Year 2004 wasn't bad either - registering a 35 per cent growth. & #BANNER1 & # This year, analysts predict, should see a growth rate of 20-25 per cent.
Despite the downward trend, home entertainment players are not complaining. That's because the market for the more expensive DVD format is picking up. And, players are finding new avenues of growth.
For instance, Ultra, which is active in the Hindi home entertainment space, is getting into production and distribution of movies. The company has tied up with International Keystone Entertainment for the distribution of nine kids' movies in India and neighbouring SAARC countries.
These include the Airbud series (Airbud, Airbud: Golden Receiver and Airbud: Spikes Back), the Primate series (Most Valuable Primate, Most Vertical Primate, Most Extreme Primate), The Duke, Chestnut and Spymate.
Ultra will also release its first Hindi production, a comedy titled 'Chor Mandali - The Gang' in August this year, followed by a social drama 'Ek Hi Rastha' in September.
Rival Shemaroo ventured into production in April this year with the Arshad Warsi-Mahima Chaudhary-starrer 'Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye'. Audio major Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, which is active in the English home entertainment space, tied up with Mahesh Bhatt's Vishesh Films to co-produce 'Tumsa Nahin Dekha' last year.
Clearly, vertical integration seems to be making ample business sense to these players.
Says Hiren Gada, vice-president, marketing, Shemaroo Video, "We will produce two films per year in the initial period. Depending on how the business moves, we will scale up accordingly."
Sushilkumar Agrawal, managing director of Ultra, says, "We plan to produce about six to seven movies this fiscal. In terms of distribution, we see a market for good kids' movies in the country, which is why we've ventured into this genre."
Typically, a home production would mean that players control its telecast rights across platforms - be it satellite, terrestrial, cable etc. Naturally, the producer controls the film's music rights as well. "Striking the right deals with the right partners means an added source of revenue for players," says a Mumbai-based senior media planner.
Yash Raj Films, for instance, which started its home entertainment business seven months ago, opted for Sony Entertainment Television for the telecast of its movies 'Hum Tum', 'Dhoom' and 'Veer-Zaara'. 'Dhoom', for the record, was telecast last month, while Veer-Zaara is expected on the channel in the near future.
In the case of the films' music, in-house label Yash Raj Music has been doing the needful. Cassettes and CDs of 'Hum Tum', 'Dhoom' and 'Veer-Zaara' were released by Yash Raj in the market.
Shemaroo too has taken the music label route launching Shemaroo Audio a few months back. Cassettes and CDs of 'Kuch Meetha Ho Jaye' were released by Shemaroo Audio. More such releases are expected when home titles are launched. © 2005 agencyfaqs!