BigFlix to offer service in US, UK, Canada

MUMBAI: Movie-on-demand service BigFlix is going to launch its service in the UK, US and Canada this quarter.

BigFlix is looking to take advantage of the sizeable NRI diaspora there. “These are our primary markets as there is a sizeable NRI diaspora there. Later we will go to markets like Singapore, the Middle East, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. The good news is that there are no connectivity issues in these three markets," says Reliance Entertainment Digital CEO Manish Agarwal.

BigFlix will add content in Bengali and other languages. While half the content is Hindi, the focus is also on beefing up Tamil and Telugu content. Reliance has some Malayalam and Bhojpuri content as well.

"We have 2000 titles and plan to double it in the next three to four months,” says Agarwal.

The monthly fee is $4.99 and a subscriber can watch unlimited movies.

The business model agreement with producers takes different forms like revenue sharing and assured monthly revenue. It would depend on the size of the film, the timeline of the rights and the quantity of films in a deal with the producer.

How much many subscribers BigFlix is targeting from these overseas markets? "It is difficult to give a figure at this stage. We do not know what the cost of customer acquisition or churn rate will be. Piracy, though, is not an issue for us. We are talking to producers and our message is that this is a legitimate form of content distribution.”

BigFlix is learning from Netflix‘s model which relied on premium content. “They realised early on before anybody else that premium content offered on a subscription basis can be monetised unlike user generated content on a platform like Youtube which is difficult to monetise. Netflix transmigrated users from offline to online and changed the paradigm of the business. We have also focussed on premium content," says Agarwal.

BigFix, for instance, stopped its ad supported model last year in India. The Anil Ambani-owned company also closed down its physical stores in the country as it realised that scale wouldn‘t be possible through this route.

"We work with companies like LG, Panasonic as well as with laptop companies like Lenovo and Dell. Our app is preloaded and one can watch films for Rs 249 a month. We have a partnership with Airtel for their movies service. Wherever net inflection is happening, we want to be there,” avers Agarwal.

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