In an attempt to make the most of its previous releases, UTV is back with a plan. Apart from reaching out to their Bollywood audiences in the UK, it also has multiple other advantages. Fighting piracy, gauging the popularity of certain films and genres across the world, making revenue of titles released five years ago are some of them.
UTV has signed a deal with the popular IPTV service provider called BT Vision, in the UK, for access to 22 of their titles. “Many Indian movies aren’t always available on DVDs, so we always wanted our movies to be accessible to audiences around the world in a legitimate manner,” says Amrita Pandey, who heads the overseas marketing of UTV films.
Shemaroo Entertainment UK Pvt Ltd, the current exclusive Indian content provider for BT Vision heralded this deal, after they took charge of all South Asian content for the provider in November 2009. “We have launched this section called Bolly and Beyond, wherein we have signed a 22 title deal with one film service provider,” says Hiren Ghada, director of Shemaroo Entertainment. “We are in the process of signing deals with other TV services as well. We even outsource content from Star, Imagine for TV shows.”
Having signed a one-year deal with them on a revenue sharing basis, they both plan on benefitting from it. “It’s a great learning experience for us, since we can tell what kinds of movies do well in what areas. For instance, we had a similar system installed in Korea, where we had only made two movies — Dev D and Fashion — available to them.
Fashion did phenomenally well over there,” says Pandey, before adding that UTV also maintains a constant stream of revenue from older titles through these deals.
The system functional in Korea and now in the UK, hopes to stretch its reach to Australia soon. The 22 titles, including movies like Race, Kaminey, Fashion, Wake Up Sid and Kurbaan, will be available to the British audience. They can either access the movies on an individual basis by paying a certain amount and gaining access to one title for a designated amount of time, or they can subscribe to the service and watch four to five films on a monthly basis.