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Our aim is to be a democratic platform for release of new films: Zubin Dubash, Shemaroo

ShemarooMe, the video-on-demand platform from Shemaroo Entertainment, recently launched the ‘ShemarooMe Box Office’, a platform that gives cinema curators/ producers an opportunity to unlock the true value of their films by giving them access to digital avenues. With this new vertical, the company aims to create an ecosystem for small-budget Bollywood and regional movies that have an audience, but limited avenues to reach out to viewers.

Also read:  ShemarooMe joins hands with Sony India

In conversation with Adgully, Zubin Dubash, COO – Digital, Shemaroo Entertainment, speaks about the platforms revenue sharing model, marketing and distribution strategy, and future expectations around its digital theatre video on demand (TVOD) model.

The economics of Direct-To-OTT releases are in favour of small film producers. Will the TVOD ecosystem created by ShemarooMe Box Office attract bigger players? 

While we already have a successful SVOD offering on ShemarooMe, we launched ShemarooMe Box Office on a TVOD model. We wanted to create a theatre-like experience for new film releases. To start with, it is the small and medium budget films that are keen to launch their films on ShemarooMe Box Office. As the model establishes, we are confident to attract the bigger budget films too. 

Our aim is to be a democratic platform for release of new films and provide a vast variety of films under the ShemarooMe Box Office model. We believe we are offering a unique opportunity to both big and small players in the movie making business by providing access to digital avenues to release and extract value for their movies. 

In what way is the TVOD model different from a digital premiere?

We offer two distinct services on ShemarooMe:

Bollywood Premieres, which are world digital premieres of theatrically released film. This is offered as a service promise – 52 weeks 52 premieres, and is packaged at a yearly subscription of Rs 499.

Box Office, which is the typical theatrical experience of watching a new film, that is, book tickets and watch the films that you want to pick at a price of just Rs 79 per ticket.

Both these address different needs of consumers and attract varied audiences.

What is the Box Office window that you are planning on ShemarooMe before the film producers decide to monetise via SVOD, syndication and satellite channels? 

In line with our aim of providing a theatrical experience, we plan to keep a window of 4 weeks for every new release on the TVOD model on ShemarooMe Box Office, which is mutually extendable. 

Post the release window, we offer the producer the additional option of monetisation on SVOD on ShemarooMe, telecom operator OTTs and other OTTs, along with helping in selling satellite rights.

What is the monetisation model and split of revenues between producers and the OTT platform? Are you, in fact, buying the digital distribution rights to the film?

We have always believed that for any company to grow in an industry, it is important for all the stakeholders to benefit and share the revenue they are making.

Even as part of ShemarooMe Box Office, we have multiple stakeholders such as producers, ticketing partners, marketing, and promotion partners. Based on the inputs of each stakeholder, we have worked out a fair revenue model that will benefit all.

From a viewer perspective, how have you made this journey from buying a ticket to watching the film as frictionless as possible?

With ShemarooMe Box Office, our aim is to build a unique platform that brings the theatrical experience home and entertains audiences by offering fresh and high-quality content.

For us, it was extremely critical to give consumers a complete movie-going experience in this new normal. What better way to do that than with a partnership with BookMyShow – India’s leading entertainment destination. We have tried to streamline and make the process extremely simple, bearing striking resemblance to the pre-COVID-19 era. 

Audiences can easily purchase the ticket on BookMyShow or ShemarooMe app and website, giving them access to the movie for three days, so they can watch anywhere, anytime.

What factors will determine the pricing of the ticket? How cost efficient will it be compared to theatre prices?

When you go to watch a film as a family at a theatre, you end up paying per seat. In digital ticketing, we believe family watching will continue at home too. Hence, we have priced the tickets at Rs 79. This allows the whole family to watch the film together, making it a truly value for money experience. 

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