Aishwarya Ramesh
Media

BookMyShow introduces video-on-demand platform - why now?

'BookMyShow Stream' features 600 movie titles and 72,000-plus hours of content. However, in October 2020, theatres reopened. Who is BMS' audience?

For years, BookMyShow enabled users to book tickets to watch the movies of their choice. Now, it has rolled out ’BookMyShow Stream’, India’s largest homegrown transaction video-on-demand (TVOD) platform.

The platform features 600 movie titles and 72,000-plus hours of content. According to a press release, BookMyShow Stream will feature a handpicked, specially curated library of some of the best, celebrated and award-winning films and content from India and around the world that the users can rent or buy and watch. With over 22,000 hours of content being exclusive to the platform at launch, BookMyShow Stream will feature multiple marquee premieres every Friday.

BookMyShow Stream is a data-rich offering that focuses on relevant and targeted content for the consumers across specific film categories, such as premieres, exclusives, world cinema, missed in theatres, festival favourites and dedicated bundles. It has been built on the back of over 21 years of consumer understanding and data insights on user behaviour and preferences garnered on the platform.

BookMyShow introduces video-on-demand platform - why now?

BookMyShow Stream will feature marquee Hollywood content through partnerships with leading global production giants, including Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, among others. The platform will also bring compelling films from the library of major Indian production houses, such as Viacom18, Shemaroo and Rajshri Productions, as well as regional content providers like Divo, Sillymonks, among several others.

BookMyShow introduces video-on-demand platform - why now?

The platform will also host acquired content from independent film distributors, like PictureWorks, Superfine Films, Impact Films, Kahwa Entertainment and VR Films.

The platform will also allow the users to access movies spanning countries such as Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Slovakia and the Netherlands. The content available on BookMyShow Stream will be among the most celebrated films across key international film festivals, including award-winning showcases at the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival, to name a few.

BookMyShow introduces video-on-demand platform - why now?

Commenting on the launch of BookMyShow Stream, Ashish Saksena, COO, cinemas, BookMyShow, said, “With BookMyShow Stream, the largest Made-in-India transaction video-on-demand platform yet, we are moving a step forward towards nurturing India’s movie consumption habit by providing users the best of global cinema right to their personal screens."

“BookMyShow Stream is a natural extension of our cinema business and respects the existing theatrical windows for content. It empowers users to pay only for the content that they watch, a prevalent trend in other global cinema markets, as yet untapped at scale in India. BookMyShow Stream aims to inculcate global consumption trends by providing a highly curated avenue for handpicked cinema from across the world."

Ashish Saksena
Ashish Saksena

Jehil Thakkar, partner at Deloitte India, agrees that this is a model which has already been used in other countries. "In the US, the movies first have a theatrical release, after which they go into pay-per-view viewing, then premium cable (on platforms like HBO Max) and finally on to free viewing (on channels such as CBS)."

"Keep in mind that because of COVID, there will be a certain section of the audience who is wary of visiting theatres. They would opt for this platform to catch up with the latest movies. This will have an audience in India."

Jehil Thakkar
Jehil Thakkar

Thakkar adds that before the advent of streaming platforms in the US, the movies would run in theatres for 3-4 weeks after which they would be available for pay per view, and those who didn’t go to the theatres, could still enjoy the movie. “This practice is called windowing and to make it happen, the platform will have to establish a strong relationship with the content owners.”

Manav Sethi, chief marketing officer, Octro Inc. (former CMO at Eros International PLC and ALTBalaji), says that the timing of the platform’s launch is right, as there are audiences who are paranoid about stepping into movie theatres.

Sethi points out that this is the model that Apple TV and Google Play have followed – allowing users to rent out movies, one at a time, without being tied down by a whole subscription.

“There are many movies that are commercially produced, which don’t get a theatrical release. Think of movies like Ludo, Chalang, AK vs AK and so on. When people have wider access to these movies without a subscription, it helps democratise content.”

Manav Sethi
Manav Sethi

“In India, people enjoy consuming a variety of content – whether it is related to stock markets, politics or sports. If you can find a scalable cohort that will watch the content that’s been acquired on the platform – you can leave it up there and it will help people discover these hidden gems. I think BookMyShow is on the right track with this move,” Sethi concludes.