afaqs!

Next change: Movies releasing at a PC near you

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media | August 06, 2007
UTV Motion Pictures announces a slew of tie-ups for online distribution of its film library. 'The Blue Umbrella' and 'Fear' will première online on August 10

Imagine watching & #BANNER1 & # a Hindi movie first day first show while sitting in the comfort of your home. UTV Motion Pictures is changing the rules of the game with two of its upcoming movies. With an aim to redefine the landscape of film distribution, UTV will release two forthcoming films online, courtesy tie-ups with three portals for online distribution of its film library.

Vikram Bhatt-directed 'Fear' premieres on August 10 across three portals, www.rajshri.com, www.bigflicks.com, www.indyaondemand.com. This film will be released online without a theatrical release, a first for an Indian film. Further, Vishal Bhardwaj's 'The Blue Umbrella' also releases online on August 10, the same day as its theatrical release in India.

Says Siddharth Roy Kapur, EV-P, marketing, distribution & syndication, UTV Motion Pictures, "Using the Internet as a medium of distribution is the way forward for content owners to combat piracy; which is to have movies available for viewing legitimately online."

The latest initiative aims to kill three birds with one stone. Firstly, it'll provide competition to pirated CDs and DVDs and in the long term will ease them out of the market. Secondly, it will bring movies home, i.e., movies releasing at your PC. Thirdly, the Indian diaspora will get to see their favourite titles.

"We wanted to be innovative and surely, with the help of technology, we'll be able to set a new benchmark. We have tried this before with 'Hat-trick', but that was with a 70 mm release. But, with 'Fear', we are releasing it only online without a theatrical release," adds Roy.

Each online movie download is priced at US$ 9.99 for a standard download and US$ 19.99 for a higher resolution download. This is targeted at audiences in markets such as the US, UK, South East Asia and the Middle East. Both movies will be available on a 'download to own' instead of the usual 'download to rent' with 72 hours DRM.

The UTV online library include titles such as 'Swades', 'Rang De Basanti', 'Taxi No 9 2 11', 'Bluffmaster', 'Chup Chup Ke', 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', 'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye', 'Hat-trick' and 'Life in a Metro'.

As of now, this paid-for content is being consumed primarily by the overseas audience and the revenue stream thus generated has a limited impact on the overall revenue of films. However, the next generation of film distribution will see online and IPTV contributing much larger ratios to overall film revenues.