Exclusive: Eros International, will soon be launching its online movie streaming service, Eros Now (Hat-tip – SGhosh), through which it will offer full length feature films from its digital catalogue, across Hindi, Tamil (through Ayngaran studios), Kannada, and Marathi titles, in addition to songs and music videos. At the time of writing this post, the site offers an introductory video on its ‘coming soon’ landing page with a ‘Notify me’ e-mail address form. However, we are unable to ascertain the exact launch date.
Some of the titles that are featured as movie poster graphics on the site and as clips in the video include Rockstar, Ra.One, Desi Boyz, and Dabangg among others. Interestingly, the Eros Digital website also offers a ‘ Coming Soon’ landing page with the ‘ Watch Movies. Everywhere.’ tagline. The company calls itself a ‘high energy startup division of Eros International’ located in Mumbai and Bangalore and has put up a hiring notice. It intends to focus on South Asian entertainment, so we feel that it will be primarily targeting the South Asian diaspora living outside India.
The service would compete with the likes of Verismo’s Mela, and YouTube’s own movie subscription service. If it launches in India, it would compete with Reliance ADAG’s BigFlix. However, a lot would also depend on the pricing of subscription plans or VOD tariffs. Also, we’re not sure if the service will only offer Eros’ own titles or include titles from other studios.
Eros’ Digital plans
After setting up the digital division in May 2011, with Ricky Ghai as the CEO and Rajesh Bahl as COO, Eros Digital had announced plans of setting up an inhouse ‘Digital Asset Management’ initiative to digitize and catalog its movie library comprising of 2100+ films. The company had said that it was investing Rs 5 crore to 7 crore on digitization, a process it expects will be completed by Q2 or Q3 of FY 2012.
Among its digital initiatives, it had recently launched an iPad app(which has been updated to support the iPhone) that offers Bollywood content such as videos, pictures galleries, music, and quiz featuring movies and celebrities. It had also joined YouTube as a content partner, begining with the launch of Ra.One’s music release.
It has also been in talks with mobile operators and digital cable companies for content partnerships and has also launched its own branded Subscription Video On Demand channels on DTH, IPTV and Digital Cable platforms.