Reliance Communication has announced its partnership with online movie rental service provider BIGFlix to allow all its 3G subscribers access to premium movies for Rs. 30. This price includes streaming for Video On Demand (VOD) so there will be no further data costs added to it.
Subscribers will be able to access the premium movies by navigating to which currently has a collection of nearly 25 titles.
Drama, Comedy, Thriller, Romantic and Action are the categories that users can choose from. At the moment, subscribers can pick from some of the recent blockbusters like Dabangg and relatively old ones like Sarkar, Mangal Pandey, Don and Jab We Met. All the movies carry a flat price tag of Rs. 30.
Besides movies, subscribers can also watch video songs and other short clips which can currently be accessed for free.
BIGFlix is India’s largest VOD (streaming only) website and falls under the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group headed by none other than Anil Ambani, the same man at the helm of Reliance Communication.
It is obvious that RCom is targeting the smartphone and tablet audience in India, and at current market trends, that may be the right move. In the first quarter of 2012, global smartphone sales surged nearly 45% as compared to the same period last year.
However that leaves RCom with a niche target audience – Customers will be from its own subscriber set and only those armed with either smartphones or tablets will access this service.
On the plus side and at Rs. 30 per movie, the pricing seems fairly competitive and affordable.
For example, a typical young subscriber armed with a tablet or a smartphone with a decent sized screen may not mind spending Rs. 30 to liven up his/her otherwise dull Sunday afternoon. A group of hostel mates may find spending Rs. 30 to watch a movie in their hostel room much more affordable than hitting the multiplex screens.
A group of friends on a road trip may feel like catching up on a movie on the go, while sitting on the back seat of a car.
The service on offer is a first of its kind in India. Without doubt, movie buffs who are existing Reliance customers will look forward to watching movies on their handsets for a price that may very well be the cost of a parking ticket at a top-end multiplex in a metro.
In the coming months it will be interesting to see the customer response and whether other mobile service providers in India decide to jump on to this bandwagon or not.