Sushobhan Mukherjee, a 40-year-old advertising professional staying at Powai, watches four movies a week on his 42-inch LCD TV. His subscription with a movie rental chain helps him watch over 100 movies a year for Rs 5500. He also spends Rs 20,000 annually on the purchase of movie VCDs and DVDs, which are now available at affordable prices.
Opening up of the home entertainment market in the form of affordable rental packages and low-priced content discs has resulted in more home video consumption. Here is one market where both software (content) and hardware (DVD players) prices are falling and the consumer demand is seeing a big rise. The latest FICCI-PricewaterhouseCoopers report on Indian entertainment and media industry says that the home video market has grown 30 per cent between 2004 and 2007. It further estimates that its size will double to Rs 1,500 crore by 2012, from Rs 750 crore in 2007.
“The most significant changes are dropping prices, quicker releases on DVD and new age rental services. Additionally, an explosion in the types and titles are also available. We are definitely watching more movies in the comfort of our home,” said Mukherjee.
Like him, many other consumers are lapping up affordable home entertainment options with joy. More content at less prices seems to be the driving mantra. Subhanker Sarkar, COO of Seventymm, a movie rental chain with presence in six cities says, “We have close to 55000 subscribers. We are also adding 5000 subscribers every month.”
Sarkar adds that 30 per cent of its subscribers opt for an unlimited pack that allows them to rent as many titles as they want (two movies at a time) for Rs 549 per month. Sarkar confirms consumers are watching more movies at home. “The proportion of multi-month subscribers (three months, six months or 12 months) is over 60 per cent”, he says.
Sarkar says that even at outlets like Music World and Crossword, there is increasing shelf space for home entertainment products.
Reliance ADAG’s Bigflicks has also entered the movie rental business and has set up 50 stores in 10 cities. It plans to invest $100 million over a period of three years. Kamal Gianchandani, COO of Bigflicks agrees that the long-term outlook is positive. “Bigflicks expects to have a subscriber base of over 3 lakh with an average spend per user of Rs 350.”