Shemaroo & #BANNER1 & # Entertainment, a film production and animation company, has tied up with BPL Mobile to broadcast 15-minute Bollywood movies on mobile phones. The films will be streamed on the GPRS-enabled phones of BPL Mobile subscribers.
The mobile movies are actually 15-minute versions of existing Bollywood movies - both classics such as 'Chupke Chupke' and 'Golmaal' and recent ones such as 'Shiva'. Hiren Gada, vice-president, Shemaroo Entertainment, says, "We are experimenting with different formats for films. In mobile, we have to ensure that the story is intact and also that the consumer enjoys it." He adds that it took about a month to shorten the first movie to 15 minutes, such a challenge was it to create so short a film.
Explaining why the company chose to experiment with mobile movies, Gada says, "Most of the mobile entertainment we have today is audio-based, like ringtones. Even in video, there are only short clips. We knew that people would not watch mobile movies at home, so these are designed for people on the go."
The streaming movies will cost Rs 5 per minute - Rs 75 for a movie. Viewers will have the choice of watching only a portion of the movie and paying for just that. Gada said the business model is evolving, as it is still at an experimental stage. "Business model is on a revenue sharing basis and being at an experimental stage we are not in a position to project the number of users," he said.
Mobile movies have not really caught on so far, maybe because of the high cost of the download involved coupled with slow connectivity. Reliance Communications has experimented with a mobile movie called 'Ctrl Alt Delete', produced by Phonethics. But other operators have not really experimented with the genre. This is the first such initiative by BPL Mobile, which launched its mobile TV service in August.