BigFlix, the Reliance ADA Group owned online movie streaming and DVD rental service, is rolling back its standalone physical outlets model for its rental service; a MediaNama reader had informed us that he had received a call from his local retail store informing him of the same. Confirming the news, Reliance Entertainment COO (Digital) Manish Agarwal told MediaNama that customers will be able to rent via a call center, and a relationship managers model has been created, wherein the customer can call them and book DVDs; the shop-in-shop models (within Reliance Web World’s) will also remain. 24 standalone retail outlets across five cities will be shut, and this will help BigFlix reduce cost of operation.
The rolling out of standalone outlets can be tricky: retail can be expensive, but physical touchpoints give a sense of confidence to some buyers, and also enable impulse purchases. According to Agarwal though, a bulk of BigFlix’ signups are through telecalling and online, and he feels that a pizza delivery kind of a distribution model would work better for BigFlix rentals. Other changes are also afoot at BigFlix: with online streaming, it has launched a subscription model with Bharti Airtel, and is also planning to launch a mobile subscription service in two months. Details here.