Online movie rental players spread their wings

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | June 27, 2008 and are gearing up to start their marketing and brand building exercises to boost their effort

Online movie

rental players and are expanding their services to smaller cities in India., which earlier restricted its rental services to Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), has now launched its services in 300 cities in India and is planning to expand its customer base to one million in the next five years. It has also tied up with TNT, a logistics company, to enable the delivery of DVDs to its customers. Earlier, MovieMart used to handle the delivery of DVDs on its own. The company has around 10,000 customers.

Suresh Mansharmani, chairman,, says, "Currently, MovieMart is based on an online model, but we have plans to take our services offline in cities where they will receive an increased demand."

MovieMart is planning to set up company owned outlets in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. The company is also looking to set up outlets in Tier II towns using the franchise route.

In a similar move,, which caters to 70,000 customers, will invest $15 million and target four million customers in the next five years, says Subhanker Sarker, chief operating officer, Seventymm. "We will start offering our rental services in Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Pune by the end of 2008 and in the top 40 cities, including Tier I and II cities, by the end of 2009," he says. Currently, Seventymm services are available in Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chandigarh. Seventymm is not planning to offer its services offline.

Both companies are also gearing up to start their marketing and brand building exercise. Seventymm, which relied on below-the-line activities and search marketing to create awareness about its brand, is now going to spend Rs 8-10 crore in 2008 to build its brand. It has hired Rediffusion DY&R Kolkata to manage its branding exercise and is planning to use TV, radio, outdoor, the Internet and mobile marketing.

Even MovieMart, which has relied on only search marketing and word of mouth marketing to create awareness about its brand till now, is planning to invest Rs 50 crore in capacity enhancement, marketing and brand promotional activities in the next two years. It will use radio and TV as well as online marketing to promote its services in 300 cities.

Another player in the segment,, a Reliance ADAG company, offers its services both online and offline. It has set up 50 stores in 10 cities, including Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata and Mumbai. It is planning to go up to 200 stores by the end of 2008.

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