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Bigflix Gets Disney Content; Subscriptions vs Pay Per View

Bigflix, the movie on demand service from R-ADAG, has partnered with Disney Media Distribution to bring Disney’s action and animation movies on their platform starting February.


With the partnership, Disney titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron Legacy, Tangled, Pearl Harbor, Chronicles of Narnia and Disney-Pixar titles such as Toy Story, Wall-E, Cars, among others will be available on Bligflix platform. The company claims that about 140 movies from Disney’s catalog will be made available on Bigflix.

Bigflix had exited from its physical distribution platform, and transitioned to a  completely online platform. The company offers movies on a freemium model where it provides few movies for free and others for a monthly subscription plan.

On Subscription

Since the company depends heavily on its subscription plans for monetization, it’s essential that it partner with as many movie studios to expand their movie catalog to attract customers. As a customer, I wouldn’t want to pay Rs 249 per month (Bigflix’ monthly subscription pack) for a movie on demand service with a limited movie catalog.

Interestingly, Bigflix doesn’t offer a single movie option plan, in terms of pay-per-view, which would be a useful mechanism to allow users a trial of their services. The idea, perhaps, is to get people who want to watch a particular movie, and get them to subscribe to a longer term subscription plan in order to watch that movie. While this might work for some types of businesses like newspapers with paywalls, it doesn’t quite when your model is based around catalog content, and your competitor is offering the same for FREE. BigFlix perhaps needs to be more flexible.

Other R-ADAG developments

Bigflix had recently launched its app on Microsoft’s Windows Phone device. The app is also available on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform. Previously, another R-ADAG company, Zapak had partnered with Disney’s Global Club Penguin to bring Club Penguin on Zapak platform – zapak.com.

Other players

Spuul.com, the streaming service that offers Indian movies and TV shows online, had tied up with Yash Raj Films (YRF) to make the studio’s movies available on the website.

Eros International’s Eros Now offers online streaming service for $4.99/month which has been reduced to $2.99/month possibly as an introductory offer, although we assume the movie catalog will be limited to only Eros’s entire film catalog. Verismo’s Mela also offers a similar VoD service, through its iPad and Roku apps for a monthly subscription of $4.99. YouTube also offers movie rentals in the US. Rajshri Media, the Internet and Mobile arm of Bollywood production house Rajshri Films, offers their movies on YouTube for free supported by YouTube ads.

Apple recently launched iTunes service in the Indian market where users could buy and download local and international music and music videos, and rent or purchase films (HD films included) from the store. HD Movies are priced between Rs 290 to Rs 490 per download or Rs 120 for Rental, while SD Movies are priced at Rs 190 for download and Rs 80 for Rental. Note that rentals allow users to watch movies 30 days from the time of rental, and 48 hours after they start viewing to finish it. Once the rental period expires, the movie disappears from the user’s iTunes library.

With inputs from Nikhil Pahwa

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