Reliance Entertainment Digital’s video-on-demand service BIGFlix has partnered with Nokia to preload its BIGFlix app on select Nokia Lumia smartphones.
While the deal period or the financials details of the partnership were not disclosed, BIGFlix informed that this partnership will allow them to bundle the BIGFlix app with Nokia Lumia 520, Lumia 620 and Lumia 720 Windows phone smartphones. In addition, the company will also be offering a three month subscription to BIGFlix services for free to consumers. Through this app, the company claims to allow consumers to access more than 1500 movie titles across six Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam, among others on their Windows phone smartphones as well as their desktop, tablets and laptops among others.
BIGFlix Bundling Deals: This partnership will be BIGFlix’s second device partnership. In March 2012, the company had inked a deal with Sony to offer its video-on-demand service BigFlix Plus, on Sony’s Android powered tablets and Bravia Internet enabled TVs. This tie-up had allowed Sony to preload the BigFlix app on its Android tablets and Bravia TVs and offer its subscription based movie on demand service.
In June 2012, BIGFlix had also partnered with its sister concern Reliance Communications (RCOM) to offer full length movies to the telco’s 3G subscribers. RCOM had informed that it will be offering this service at Rs 30 per movie with no additional data charges or any hidden cost and the consumer will have to pay for only the content and not for the data that has been used to view this content, indicating that Reliance was planning to stream these movies free of cost to its subscribers.
But the primary question is – are people actually watching full length movies on their mobile phones and how many of them are watching these movies on a daily basis, since we believe that watching full length movies on mobile phones can be quite a hassle due to poor mobile Internet scenario. On the flip side however, with the screen sizes of mobile phones getting bigger by the day and the mobile Internet speeds improving in the country in the future (hopefully), its possible that video on demand services will probably see significant traffic from mobile phones.
With more players entering the video-on-demand market, it appears that BIGFlix is clearly trying to consolidate itself through different kinds of partnerships. BIGFlix has content partnership with IndiaCast, a JV between Viacom 18 and TV18, to secure streaming rights for Viacom 18’s Hindi films like Jab We Met, Kidnap, Golmaal Returns, Life Partner, among others. It has also signed a content deal for the streaming rights of Disney’s animation and action films. This includes Disney titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Chronicles of Narnia and Disney-Pixar titles such as Toy Story, Wall-E, Cars, among others. In March 2012, the company had entered into a partnership with Unisys Infosolutions for streaming rights to old and new Bollywood films like All The Best, London Dreams, Blue, Action Replay, among others.
As for Nokia, bundling of services has always been a part of its strategy. Previously, Nokia had bundled 10 India specific apps such as eBay, Ganeshaspeaks, Bookmyshow, Quikr, among others with its Nokia C2-02, C2-03 and C2-06. Nokia has also bundled Nokia Music with its feature and Series 40 phones. It had also partnered with with Bharti Airtel to preload a customized Nokia Xpress Browser for Airtel consumers on compatible Nokia mobile phones.
Other Video on Demand Services:
YouTube had recently extended its movie section to India with the launch of YouTube Rentals. Eros had also launched Eros Now sometime last year. In September 2012, Times Internet* had launched Box TV, a video-on-demand service which is supposed to be modeled after Hulu and Netflix. In India, Apple iTunes also offers films on rent or for purchase to its consumers. Spuul.com had signed a deal with Yash Raj Films for content rights while Netflix is reportedly planning to enter India sometime in the future.