BIGFlix, which is into the home video rental and broadband business, is now eying to expand its footprint across India. The company plans to double the number of its stores to 200 from the existing 100, with presence across 10 cities in India by March 2009.
Though the company currently does not have plans to expand its operations abroad, it is already catering to the NRI population via the video downloads on its portal.
Elaborating on the company’s plans, Kamal Gianchandani, COO, BIGFlix.com, said, “Both markets are equally important for us. In India, with the growth of TV households and DVD player market, our rental business is bound to grow. With NRI audiences, the need for Indian content is high and, therefore, broadband consumption is good. With Internet connectivity and bandwidths increasing, broadband consumption from India will poised to leapfrog. The way Indian entertainment is consumed is going through a paradigm shift and we want to be the leaders to be there for the changing needs of our consumers.”
The target audience for the domestic video rental business is primarily the 18-35 age group. For the broadband segment, the primary target audience is the vast NRI population across the globe with key areas being the US, the UK, the Middle East, Canada, Australia and South Asia.
“Apart from targeting NRIs, we also have started reaching out to the international audiences with content like ‘Shilpa’s Yoga’. The best way to reach the audiences with the service such as ours is Internet advertising. Our marketing strategy combines the usage of search and banner advertising across Indian, NRI and international websites,” Gianchandani added.
The marketing plan of BIGFlix for India includes working closely with movie companies and companies that are closely related with the business of entertainment. The company is also looking to enhance its current customer base by partnering with companies across sectors like leading retail chains, companies producing DVD players and other strategic partnerships.
For its broadband business, movie bundling deals with companies operating in the NRI space has brought about good dividends. BIGFlix plans to increase the number and type of alliances to promote its broadband service.
The mass campaign of BIGFlix includes television, hoardings, online, radio, bus shelters, multiplexes, bus backs and mobile vans. For broadband service, advertising is focused on Internet advertising by way of search engine marketing on Google and Yahoo!, as well as banner and video advertising across various Indian and NRI traffic websites.
“Competitors for our domestic business would be Seventymm (online), Moviemart, Clixflix, Catchflix and Nimbus’s Showtime. Currently, we are the largest player in the movie rental space with respect to scale and reach, and with a business model that offers both online and offline services to the masses. In broadband, any website that provides Indian entertainment online is competition to our business. However, the biggest competition currently is piracy, and we plan to take appropriate steps to curb the free flowing piracy market,” Gianchandani added.
“In addition, the pricing of the movies depends on the release date, performance at the box office and the popularity of the movies. The most popular plans are the super single 1 disc monthly plan and the 2 disc half yearly plan, which are for Rs 299 and Rs 2,350, respectively. Broadband users can download movies for as low as $1.99 on our broadband site. Users can also buy movies for up to $9.99 on our site,” he further said.