While the deal period or the financial details of the partnership were not disclosed, Disney UTV said that it will be offering content from ABC Studios, Disney UTV Pixar, Disney UTV and Disney UTV Studios as part of the deal.
Strangely though, the release also mentions that Times Internet has inked content agreements with Sony Pictures Television. Sony Pictures Television was already one of BoxTV’s content partners since its launch last September, so we are not sure if Times Internet has expanded its agreement with Sony Pictures Television or just restated its previous agreement.
BoxTV currently has partners like UTV Motion Pictures, Shemaroo Entertainment, Rajshri Entertainment and Everymedia Technologies for Bollywood and regional content and Sony Pictures Television, Disney UTV and Celestial Entertainment for premium Hollywood content. The company claims to have more than 1,500 movie titles on its portal including titles like Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, Men In Black, Shaw Brothers, Prince of Persia, The Sixth Sense and Resident Evil among others.
New TV Section
Along with this partnership, BoxTV has also finally come out of private alpha (although the company terms it as private beta) and has launched its TV section, offering full length episodes from national and international television shows. The company claims to offer more than 5,000 hours of programming on its portal from television shows like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Hannah Montana, Desperate Housewives and Scrubs.
This is particularly interesting since none of the online video streaming services in India currently offer International television shows (correct us if we are wrong) while YouTube and iStream already offer extensive Hindi and regional television shows on its respective portal.
Malayalam Content: We also noticed that BoxTV has added Malayalam content on its portal. Previously, the company offered content from regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. At launch, Times Internet had also mentioned plans to offer more regional language content including Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi and Gujarati videos.
Pricing & Monetization: As stated at BoxTV launch in September, the service will be based on a freemium model, with users being offered access to ad supported free content, and subscription based access to premium content. The company has initially priced the subscription at Rs 199 per month, but it looks like BoxTV plans to increase it to Rs 499 per month in the future, as indicated by BoxTV’s subscription page. We feel this pricing is a bit too expensive and are skeptical if people will pay Rs 500 per month to access this content.
Mobile Apps And Connected Devices
Coinciding with this launch, BoxTV has launched an Android app and is planning to release apps across various mobile platforms and connected device platforms like iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Kindle Fire, EvoTV, Woxi Pod and Roku shortly.The company also said that it will be releasing apps for Windows 8, J2ME and BlackBerry platforms soon.
In India, BoxTV competes with other online video streaming services like Eros International’s Eros Now, Reliance ADA’s BigFlix, Singapore-based Spuul, the SAIF Parners-backed iStream and Google’s YouTube.
* Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with MediaNama