For the first time in India and probably world over, a potential box office hit is released – simultaneously on the Net and in cinema theatres on the same day.
And, within a week of its launch, there have
been a million video downloads of this movie, Vivah (which means
marriage in Hindi) giving 32-year-old Rajjat Barjatya, CEO of Rajshri
Media, the digital media and entertainment arm of the one of India’s
leading production houses, every reason to smile.
His site for Indian video content, www.rajshri.com has created a new
genre of entertainment through a simultaneous premiere and online and
in traditional theatres. More importantly it has become an instant hit
with viewers abroad where for $10 you can download the movie and store
it on your PC for 72 hours.
After 72 hours, the file disintegrates and if you need to watch it all
over again, you shell out another $10 for another 72-hour window.
“By releasing a new movie on the Internet, we are creating an entirely
new set of consumers. This is targeted especially for those who do not
have access to an Indian cinema near them. We recognize the fact that
the Internet cannot replicate the experience of watching a movie in a
movie theatre but are proud that “Vivah” is the first of a legitimate
multi-platform releases of Indian movies,” Barjatya says.
About 25 million non-resident Indians, persons of Indian origin,
students and professionals live outside India and follow Indian
entertainment closely on a regular basis, connecting with their
homeland primarily through Indian movies and music.
There are also 25 million non-Indians from places like South East Asia,
large parts of Australia, Africa and Russia who like Indian
entertainment globally. This is a large but fragmented audience, which
is difficult to reach through the traditional 35 mm cinema route and as
a result piracy fills the gap between demand and supply. But this is
the first legitimate movie site with free downloadable movies, as of
“As of today, all the content except for Vivah is free. Our business
model is through advertising as well as this model of a 72-hour
download of new movies. It is called a “download to rent” model where
the movie will be copy protected and cannot be pirated. We use Windows
DRM (digital rights management) software, developed by Microsoft, which
is nearly 100 per cent foolproof,” he explained.
The site is aimed primarily at the non resident Indian community.
“Indian movie goers are not our primary target, since many don’t have a
high speed broadband connection at homes.”
The parent production house has produced more than 75 films of which
many have been box office hits. “For us to adopt this model is natural
– we own the rights of these movies, have been in the distribution
business too and more important, we have a very competent content
creation team in-house, supported by infrastructure like shooting
floors, recording theatres and editing suites. We plan to start
creating original content for distribution via the Internet and mobile
networks.” Barjatya added.
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