Reliance Digital to enter video-on-demand market in US, UK


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6 May 2012
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The Anil Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment Digital will enter the video-on-demand market in the US, Canada and UK on September 15.

RED, the digital arm of Reliance Entertainment, will launch its video-on-demand brand BIGFLIX in these markets, offering the Indian Diaspora there a range of Hollywood, Bollywood and regional films on demand for a monthly subscription of $ 4.99.

BIGFLIX, India’s first movie-on-demand product, was launched in January this year. It helps users stream and download an HD catalogue of about 1,500 films across PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones for a monthly subscription of Rs 249.

“We see big opportunity in these geographies. In the US alone, there are three million Indians. With better access to smart mobile devices and higher speeds, the market penetration will be faster,” Manish Agarwal, CEO, said.

These markets are dominated by NETFLIX, which has a worldwide subscriber base of 26 million, charging $ 7.99 from each. Like BIGFLIX, revenue of this brand is purely subscription-led with no advertisements.

He says India is still an evolving market for this product. Since its launch, it has established a subscriber base of 20,000 adding 2,000 to 3,000 new users every month.

“Coinciding with the overseas launch, RED hopes to enlarge its English catalogue for NRIs with new Hollywood flicks. It is in talks with top Hollywood studios to add new titles to its catalogue. “We will be finalising tie-ups with at least two studios in the next six months,” Agarwal said.

The firm is also expanding its market bandwidth in India, with the launch of Telugu films on its platform on Thursday. In the next three months, the brand will bring Tamil and Malayalam films into its library.

It will have 500 titles each from Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films in the next three months, to take its total inventory to about 3,000. Three months later it will get into the Bengali and Punjabi celluloid world.

While blockbusters have a holdback time of four to six months, smaller budget films can be offered on video 6-10 weeks after their release.

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