That’s a question I have been asking people for quite sometime, not before I asked it on Quora (How Indian Movie rental services are doing? Subscription numbers for services like bigflix.com and seventymm.com?) and it was Sidharth’s answer which then triggered this post! When I tried to dig more I found out a question on linkedin– “Seventymm & Bigflix closing?”. And the question was asked by a CEO, Clarke S-
I met a reputed Media Label today, and was discussing the rental movie concept on indian context. Am surprised both seventymm & bigflix are planning shutdown. One of the main reasons cited was the very low price of the DVDs in India, and therefore people prefer to buy vcd. anyone have any more info….. (posted 5 months ago)
Seventymm.com was launched (way back) in 2003 and if we go by Sidharth’s answer on Quora then a combined user base of 300,000 for both Seventymm and BigFlix is not a healthy number. Seventymm acquired Madhouse in 2007 and at that time had 25000 members, after that it has undergone major managerial changes (Sameer Guglani quitting as VP , Corporate strategy in Aug 2008 and Mudit Khosla joining as CEO in Nov 2009).
Bigflix on the other hand which launched in 2008 started off well and acquired 80,000 members in just 5 months but after that there wasn’t any news about their membership numbers.
Everything looked fine till early 2008 but then at the same time Moserbaer arrived with its new anti-piracy model selling DVDs for as low as 30-50 Rs. This was unique and disruptive, DVDs would cost the same as any pirated DVD and will be available legally across the country. And as it was quoted in May 2010-
Moser Baer’s home entertainment business now accounts for 10 per cent of group revenues of Rs 2,344 crore, and it has become a household brand, with 50,000 sales outlets and over 400 distributors.– Business Today
So it seems Moserbaer’s solution is being better accepted by Indians as they still go to local markets to buy DVDs and VCDs rather than chasing titles online!
Movie rental basically tries to solve the problem of piracy by giving users comfort of their homes, but then as accepted by these players even most of their sales come via offline mode. Netflix the US movie rental major also thrives because of it’s Movie recommendation engine, Indian counterparts’ recommendations on the other hand are still very raw (or are random to say).
Do you think Indian movie rental services will really close down? Comments and Insights are welcomed!