Home video rental market in an upswing

MUMBAI: The fracas between multiplexes and film producers over revenue sharing has not left cinemagoers without any source of entertainment, though there is an anxiety concerning the release of new films. Viewers are now turning to home video in a big way. Not only are pirated films selling like hot cakes, original CDs/DVDs are going off the shelf of video rental libraries far too frequently."We have been witnessing a 15 per cent growth over and above our regular growth of 15- 20 per cent on a month-on-month, since a month and a half. On an average movies watched by a member increased from 8-10 DVDs to 12 DVDs per month which very much more than the number of movies watched usually. Also, to make the most of these times, we have introduced a couple of offers so as to induce more people to watch movies at home with BIGFlix and are getting great response so far," says chief lead online DVD rental business Pankaj Chandra.

There has also been an increase in the demand for alternative content. Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd director Hiren Gada avers, "Due to the lack of new releases, our CD/ DVD sales have increased and are placed anywhere between 30 to 40 per cent. Another noticeable effect is that sports content is also in huge demand, thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches."Movie rental

service Seventymm has claimed that the demand for films has shot up by almost 25 per cent. The stoppage of new releases has seen a surge of new customers. Earlier its clients would rent up to three films a week but now they would hire almost five films every day, says a source in the organisation. The company has a market share of 60 per cent with 1, 20, 000 customers pan India.

However, Moser Baer COO G Dhananjayan begs to differ. He says, "Old films are not being asked for. Yes, fresh titles are always in the askance. We are of course keeping ourselves abreast of the current situation. A few days earlier, we released Dev D and today we are releasing Dilli 6. All said and done these are fresh films and will attract considerable attention. Besides, there is no such news that sales or hiring of films have gone up. From the vast market we have around the country, from nowhere have we heard that CD/DVD sales are on the rise. In fact people are depressed because the inflow of new films has stopped."

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