CDs, DVDs – Very mention of these names bring tears to the film producers in India due to the thriving piracy market. But all this will change once the Moser Baer’s much publicized 34 Rs. DVD hit the markets. However only new films are much in demand in the Indian CD market, so to make most use of this opportunity that Moser Baer had opened up, film producers have to switch to the Hollywood style of releasing DVDs on the same day as the films hit the theatres.
High quality original DVDs at cheap rates – This will be music to the ears to the Television manufacturers like Videocon. They can use this opportunity to promote Home Theatre concepts and to push the Indian consumers to buy their high end products like plasma or LCD TV. However as the choice is between a profit from a 34 Rs DVD to the profit from the theaters, where a family will spend about 400 to 500 Rs, it is highly unlikely for the producers to release the new films in low cost DVDs.
Of late India witnessed a tremendous growth in the theatre industry due to the multiplex boom. Companies like PVR, Adlabs, Inox, Shringar and Cinemax are competing with each other to provide the quality movie experience to the film crazy Indians. Last time I visited my home town, Sivakasi, I heard rumors that Reliance (read Adlabs) is looking to buy out a local theatre there. As these multiplexes look beyond the metros and expand their business to more and more towns, it will be prudent for the producers to join hands with them than to try their luck with a 40 or 50 Rs DVD.
Another industry that will be hit hard with this Moser Baer’s entertainment foray is the DVD rental companies. Well, I’m not talking about the neighborhood DVD rental store which mostly depends on the piracy market for its survival. It is the online DVD rental players like SeventyMM, MadHouse, Catchflix, Cinesprite now will find the going very tough. Most of these companies are in their early stage of growth and they will be now forced to rethink their business strategies to succeed.
From Tamil in the South, to Gujarati in the West, to Bengali in the East, to Punjabi in the North, Moser Baer has included almost all the important regional language films in their business plan. So instead of competing with low cost DVDs in this space, online rental companies can think of owning more foreign language films in addition to English and can market them effectively. If people who do not know English, still can enjoy Arnold’s or a Bond movie in English, then there will be definitely more film enthusiasts willing to watch some award winning German or Russian language films with the English subtitles. In fact I’ve seen many Hindi films with the help of subtitles only.
Another point to note here is, while many of the 3 in 1 DVD films that I personally own are sleeping in the shelves, I never took more than a day to watch a film I got it thru DVD rentals. I believe this is applicable to many others also. And again there are not many films worth watching more than once. Rental companies can explore more on this habit and push people to go for rentals instead of filling their house with DVDs thru some smart ads.
Well, the vegetable vendor who sells from street to street doesn’t really bother whether Bharti tied up with Wal-Mart or Tesco, or whether Reliance Fresh opened 12 stores or 100 stores in Chennai, Like that if these DVD rental companies believe in their service they can still succeed despite the challenges posed by the 34 Rs DVD.