Shemaroo Entertainment has entered into an agreement with the music and video portal iMusti.com to offer its catalog of Hindi movie titles for purchase. While the financial details of the agreement weren’t disclosed, iMusti said that it will be offering more than 500 classic and contemporary Hindi and regional movie titles on DVDs and VCDs in the United States and Canada as part of the agreement.
Among the titles offered include movies like Aag, Barsaat, Aah, Mugal-E-Azam, Awara, Bobby, Guide, Jewel Thief as well as compilation from the series of Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Nargis, Rajesh Khanna, Ashok Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha, Jeetendra, Dilip Kumar, Hema Malini, Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, and Aamir Khan among others. Besides this, iMusti will also offer regional language movies including Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali titles.
In December 2011, iMusti had partnered with Samsung to provide video applications for Samsung Smart TVs which offered live streaming of over 5,000 titles across multiple genres and languages. These included movies, television shows, video clips, regional song compilations, and religious discourses among others. The company had then stated its plans to develop 12 more applications over the next year. In August 2009, Times Music had teamed up (pdf) with iMusti to offer its entire music catalog for purchase and license select digital content for streaming purposes.
Launched in May 2009, iMusti allows users to stream, download or buy Indian music albums across various genres like Movie Soundtracks, Classical Hindustani, Carnatic, Indi-Pop and regional language music like Bengali, Marathi or Gujarati albums as well as purchase Hindi and Regional movies and television shows. While the music albums were priced at $9.99, the videos were available for purchase at $6.99 at the time of writing this post.
Besides this, the company also offers apps for iPhone and Android and claims to offer access to stream more than 2 million songs across 20,000 artists, and 26,000 albums on its portal for a monthly subscription fee of $1.99.
Why DVDs And VCDs? (Nikhil adds)
Hasn’t the US market moved towards streaming of content over the web? We’re wondering why iMusti is going to retail DVDs and VCDs, especially since others in the past have failed to compete with an apparently widespread retail market for pirated copies. Can’t quite remember which company it was, but there was one retailing South Asian content by offering retailers the content and hardware to write DRM protected DVDs. Was it Tinselvision?