Anil Ambani-led Reliance Entertainment will be relaunching its streaming service Bigflix as early as next week, reports the Hindu Businessline. The service is being relaunched as other streaming services such as Netflix, Eros Now,HotStar, Hungama Play, ALT Digital and HOOQ are gaining ground in India.
However, the report adds that Bigflix would not be getting into producing original shows and movies for the service as in the case of Netflix, Eros Now and ALT Digital.
Bigflix currently offers no TV shows and has a number of movies in 12 languages including Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and English (though most of the English titles seem to be obscure martial arts titles and Popeye cartoons). This is expected to change with the relaunch. In its pay and view section, users can watch movies and pay Rs 49 for a single movie.
In 2011, Bligflix shut down its physical distribution business and moved to subscription based video on demand platform in 2012. Bigflix offered a film subscription at Rs 249 per month, with seamless experience across all devices and platforms including through its website and native applications for iOS and Android phones and tablets, and connected TVs.
In 2013, Bigflix introduced a download manager, which allows BigFlix subscribers to download movies from the service and watch them offline.
With video taking up almost of 40% of data used in major telecom operators and more telcos offering 4G speeds, it seems that relaunching the service would seem logical. In many ways, Bigflix was the pioneer in video streaming services. It understood that in India users would prefer offline viewing. Netflix too has relented and is considering offline downloads now. It remains to be seen how its video service’s adoption will be this time.
Interestingly, in August 2015 Reliance Communications, also owned by Anil Ambani, said it would be looking at launching a video service called Reliance Popkorn with content partnerships with Bigflix and Eros. They might as well call the service Bigflix as more people are aware of the brand.
The key for Bigflix this time would be to keep cycling its video library and make sure that it is stocked with latest titles and shows.