It made the postman redundant, and it’s likely to make advance film bookings and cable television just as obsolete in a while.
Internationally, independent filmmakers are already releasing full-length feature films online. The trend is now catching on with productions houses in India.
Mumbai-based production house Under Cover Productions launched its comedy talk show on jayhind.com on August 15. Over 60,000 people have already subscribed to the show, which is free of cost.
“Hindi TV shows reach out to over 25 million households, and the Internet reaches around 50 million people,” said Abhigyan Jha, owner of Under Cover Productions. "If we’ve got over one million views in a little over a week, that means there is someone watching out there.”
Others also recognise the value of putting their content on the Net. Star India makes its shows available online after they are aired on television. “People watch these ‘webisodes’ though they are on TV,” said Jha.
For two years now, UTV Motion Pictures has been releasing its movies online too. While it released Vishal Bhardwaj’s The Blue Umbrella on the Web and in theatres on the same day in August 2007, Vikram Bhatt’s Fear was released only online.
It continues to release its films online, so you can expect Wake Up Sid and Kaminey soon. “Right now, we [mainstream cinema] view the online model as an additional revenue stream,” said Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO, UTV Motion Pictures.