BigFlix, the Reliance ADA Group owned video content service provider, has partnered with consumer electronic company, Sony India, to make its Movie on Demand application, BigFlix Plus, available on Sony’s Android powered tablets and Bravia Internet enabled TVs. Although, the release mentions that the application will be ‘integrated’ with the devices, we’re not sure if it implies that the service will be pre-loaded or if there’s a customised version of the app for the devices. Sony’s tablets could get the BigFlix Plus application through the Android Market, since the time of its launch. Sony has also said that the application will be extended to its VAIO Laptops and Xperia smartphones in the future.
The tie-up will allow Sony to offer a subscription based movie on demand service, with Indian films across Bollywood and regional titles. Although, Sony also runs its own video and music service, by the name of Sony Entertainment Network, we’re not sure if it offers movie rentals in India. At least, its website does not list India in the list of countries where the service is available, and the smartphone app is not available in the Indian Play Store (even on a Sony phone).
In January 2012, BigFlix had officially launched its subscription based online Movie on Demand service-BigFlixPlus. The service offers an all-you-can-eat film subscription at Rs 249 per month, with seamless expericnce across all devices and platforms including through its website and native applications for iOS and Android phones and tablets, and connected TVs. The company claims to offer close to 600 titles in its catalogue.
This is not the first time that BigFlix has inked a partnership with a consumer electronics brand. It had earlier partnered with Samsung to launch a Video on Demand application called My Movies, offering full length feature films on Samsung’s Galaxy S and SII Android powered smart phones and Galaxy Tab 750 tablet.
As we’ve always said fresh Indian content will boost device sales as they’ll become more relevant to the Indian consumer, specially devices such as connected TVs and tablets. However, we’d like to see bundled data plans and the availability of bandwidth to support these services. The ultimate user experience relies on connectivity. If the problem of connectivity (bandwidth issues, usage caps) is not resolved, it will affect the entire device and service ecosystem, negatively.