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ErosNow readies six original shows with big stars; to adopt tiered premium pricing model

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MUMBAI: As digital players strengthen their content, pricing and marketing strategy in the country with the impending opportunity that will be provided by 4G players, Eros International’s over-the-top (OTT) platform ErosNow has readied as many as six original made-for-digital shows.

The shows will be young, fresh and edgy, which will be a differentiator from traditional television programming. Additionally, being a major player in the Indian film industry, Eros has also roped in big actors namely Bipasha Basu, Chitrangda Singh, Radhika Apte, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Ayushmann Khurrana amongst others to star in the digital shows.

PRICING MODEL

In a highly-competitive market place, ErosNow’s strategy will be to garner a large user base and migrate users to pay platform by offering premium services. The OTT platform plans to monetise its 26.5 million users under a tiered premium pricing model: (1) Advertising revenue, (2) Transaction revenue: ‘Pay As You Go’ model, (3) International Premium single tier subscription service priced at $7.99 per month and $79.99 per year, and (4) Indian quasi-premium two-tiered subscription service priced at Rs 50 and Rs 100 per month.

While internet penetration is still in its early stages in India, the country’s digital ad market is poised to reach $2.8 billion by 2020 and ErosNow is eyeing a chunk of this revenue. In India, ErosNow will offer two pricing models. While in the Rs 50 per month subscription package, users can have access to all new content ad free content with subtitles, the Rs 100 per month model content will additionally also offer portability and HDTV content.

The ‘Pay As You Go’ pricing model will have weekly, monthly and series passes.

ORIGINAL SHOWS

Upping the ante on original content, the six new shows, which will soon be loaded on ErosNow are of the thriller and drama genres and range from eight - twelve episodes. Boasting of big names from the Indian film industry, the shows are likely to pull in audiences on the platform.

The first show is a thriller titled The Clients starring Bipasha Basu and will have 12 episodes. The show is based in the posh ‘murky’ corridors of power in Delhi, amidst rich industrialists and powerful politicians, where a woman uses the power of her body, mind and soul to clean their mess...or does she have another agenda?

The second thriller is titled Khel and stars Chitrangda Singh. The 10 episodes show gives an insider’s look at the world of Indian Premier League (IPL), and the various stake holders in it. It will offer a behind-the-scenes story of the IPL match-fixing, politics, controversies. Drugs, sex, big money & criminal syndicates all play a big part. The real games are played not on, but off the field...beyond the boundaries.

The third drama titled Legacy has the tagline - ‘When Music Demands Blood’ and will star names like Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar and Ayushmann Khurrana amongst others. The 10 episodes show focus on the music industry wherein a young man arrives from nowhere and takes the music industry by storm. But he has a secret hidden agenda - to destroy the country’s biggest music label by creating his own.

The Radhika Apte starrer Lost, will be an eight episodes thriller, which will revolve around an eight year old girl who goes missing. Her NRI parents are forced to seek the help of a suspended female cop in their search for her. An ex-human trafficker is blackmailed to join the search or else risk his sinful past catching up with him.

The fifth show is a drama called Showtime, which will take a look at the 1960s golden era of Bollywood and all that goes in front as well as behind the camera. The eight episodes drama will showcase legendary men and women of the era, their love stories, heartbreaks and more.

The sixth show in the young drama genre is Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Fairytale. Bhansali will revisit the most popular fairytales set in modern day India in the show spanning 12 episodes. Planned in the seasons format, each season of the show will recreate one fairytale with dazzling visuals in the form of a musical with a definite twist in the tale.

As part of its content strategy for original programming, ErosNow will develop shows in the various genres like drama, fiction, reality and comedies. Additionally, the OTT platform is also eyeing remakes from hit international series.

Targeting key markets like India, Australia, South East Asia, Middle East, Europe and America where there is demand for Indian content and stars from the Indian diaspora, ErosNow will take a 360 degree marketing approach utilising the medium of television, cinema, radio, print, outdoor, social media and advertising networks to promote its offerings. 

ADVERTISING MODEL

ErosNow will be moving away from the CPM rates and YouTube type inventory monetisation. The service will have selective premium advertisers and synergise partnerships with celebrities endorsing brands. Apart from having pre-rolls and other real estate on the player, ErosNow will have sponsorships rather than spots and offer higher ad premium based on levels of interactivity and user engagement. It will also look at in-film placements in movies and original series.

PARTNERSHIPS

Being platform agnostic, ErosNow will collaborate with telecom companies, cable and DTH platforms, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like TV, connected and personal devices as well as with others like broadband companies and the Indian Railways to be present across maximum platforms.

ErosNow has inked marketing and distribution “carriage” with all major cable operators in India. It has also integrated with DTH players in India to capture digitisation trend. Moreover, the company has also inked cable partnerships in all major markets including US, Canada, Middle East & SE Asia.

For OEMs, ErosNow has partnered with some television manufacturers so all major smart TVs will have the app and will offer cross-promotions worldwide. ErosNow content and apps will be featured on all connected devices worldwide.

ErosNow has also inked carriage and cross-promotion deals on mobile handsets pre-loaded with the ErosNow app. In one such deal, Karbonn will soon be launching one million smart phones with the ErosNow app embedded in it.

In a deal with the Indian Railways, the OTT platform is now also the exclusive content partner for entertainment rollout in thousands of railway stations in India with RailTel. What’s more, with Google poised to boost railway Wi-Fi rollout, this will receive a huge impetus.

Additionally, ErosNow app is also offered in bundle deals with major broadband players in India.

Internationally, distribution partnerships have been inked with cable companies as well as new platforms in the the US. Partnerships are also in place with major telecom providers in over 50 countries.

OUTLOOK

Apart from original programming, the content mix on ErosNow will also comprise movies, television and music. As was reported earlier by Indiantelevision.com, ErosNow has acquired the UK based company PingTune to enhance its music offering.

Eros is also looking at carving a new window for movie premieres on ErosNow between the theatrical release and television airing. It may be recalled that Star India recently premiered Bajrangi Bhaijaan on television first and then put the movie exclusively on its OTT platform Hotstar.

ErosNow is one of the pivotal pillars of Eros International’s growth and profitability plans. The company’s aim is to maximise the full potential of its direct to consumer business and aims to garner over 100 million registered users. ErosNow's strategy is to upsell premium subscriptions to the large base. In the future, the services also plans to expand to gaming, e-commerce and other synergistic domains to monetise the large base beyond entertainment.

With numerous OTT players like Star India’s Hotstar, Multi Screen Media’s Sony Liv, Zee Entertainment’s DittoTV, HooQ, BoxTV, Big Flix, Balaji Telefilms’ yet to launch OTT platform etc, looking to ride the OTT bus, ErosNow is gearing up to clinch the first-movers’ advantage with its aggressive plans in the space.

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