The definition of mainstream has changed – Siddharth Roy Kapur

Siddharth Roy Kapur
Siddharth Roy KapurIt’s that time of the year again when the creme de la creme of the Media and Entertainment industry converge under one roof at the FICCI- Frames convention.

Among many sessions, Day 1 of FICCI-Frames 2012 also saw a session on Marketing, Distribution & Monetization of Films in the Multiplatform Era. The panel comprised of eminent personalities such as Vijay Singh (CEO, Fox Star Studios), Siddharth Roy Kapur (CEO, UTV Motion Pictures), Adam Davies (CEO, Sanona Pictures), Pranav Ashar (Founder Chairman, Enlighten), Jai Maroo (Director Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd) and Senthil Kumar (Director, Real Image Media Technologies). The panel spoke at length on the marketing and distribution of films, both theatrical and non-theatrical, has new acquired new meaning in this dizzying world of multiple platforms available for maximum monetization.

Vijay Singh said, “Theatrical business still contributes about 40-50% of total revenues. The second big revenue component is Cable and Satellite. However, DTH as a revenue source has not yet picked up that much. However, there has been a great upswing in the movie business as far as Box Office is concerned. In 2009, we had just one film 3 Idiots crossing well over Rs.100 crore nett whereas last year (2011) we had as many as 8 films crossing the coveted Rs.100 crore nett mark.”

Siddharth Roy Kapur of UTV added, “The definition of mainstream movies has undergone a change giving us a chance to look at cinema broadly. Last year itself you had hardcore masala films like Ready, Singham and Bodyguard do phenomenally well and so did off-beat films like Delhi Belly, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and The Dirty Picture. As a studio, we can now make all sorts of films.” Siddharth also spoke about how new overseas markets such as Hong Kong, China etc. too have been lapping up Bollywood films like My Name Is Khan, 3 Idiots etc.

Adam Davies, who heads Sanona Pictures, a new, general pay-per-view digital movie distribution business, spoke about the various opportunities and challenges that lie ahead when it comes to pay-per-view. He also spoke about various models like Subscription model (adopted by Netflix), Pay-Per-view model and its pros and cons.

Senthil Kumar of Real Image Media Technologies spoke about how digital cinema is the future. Real Image Media Technologies is one of the key players in this market covering as many as 2600 screens in India. Speaking about digital cinema, Senthil said, “Digital cinema helps in getting a widespread release for the film and also controls piracy to a large extent. In the unfortunate event of piracy, it is also easier to find out the source if the film has been distributed digitally.”

Jai Maroo of Shemaroo Entertainment said, “Shemaroo has constantly created new distribution and monetization opportunities for film owners. We were one of the first to introduce VHS / Video cassettes in the Home Video distribution market. Then we also had a partnership with Sony TV for telecasting some really popular movies and now with Internet being the future, we are using that platform as well for digital distribution of movies enabling people across the world to watch our titles online.”

Vijay Singh of FOX Studios had an interesting point when he said, “3 Idiots is the highest grosser in Indian cinema but do you know only 30 million Indians have watched 3 Idiots in the theatre. Even in the case of last year’s hit Singham, appx. 15 million people watched the film in the theatre but over a 100 million watched it when it premiered on Star Gold. Hence, we cannot ignore the importance of non-theatrical revenue sources.”

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