BIGFlix launches entertainment portal targeting NRIs

Mumbai, May 24 (IANS) Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), which has one of largest online movie rental services in collaboration with BIGFlix, has launched a website - www.bigflix.com - that will allow users to view movies online or download these for a fee through its broadband service.

By launching the website, Reliance ADAG wants to tap the estimated 25 million non-resident Indian (NRI) population and the large non-Indian consumers of Indian entertainment content.

Nearly 1,000 of the BIGFlix's estimated 15,000 movie titles, music and other Indian entertainment content would be available for the users to download on the website, launched early this week.

According to Kamal Gianchandani, chief operating officer of BIGFlix, in the developed markets like US, Canada and Britain, the home video segment accounts for nearly 50 percent of the film entertainment business and constitutes over 70 percent of total global online movie revenues.

"This shows how the digital entertainment business has reached a new growth path. We plan to be a major Indian player in this digital entertainment space," Gianchandani told IANS here Saturday.

Two models of movie downloads have been introduced. One is a streaming model through which the contents are available for free viewing. Users having a fast broadband connection can view the content instantly.

The other is download-to-own model, in which contents are available for a fee ranging from $2-$10.

Gianchandani disclosed that the company would soon make arrangements for service that would allow downloading of the content into a mobile or an iPod.

Besides Hindi and English, the website will offer a variety of regional movies, music and television contents - in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Marathi.

With a view to safeguarding the downloadable content, BIGFlix has tied up with Entriq, a company that provides content protection service through Digital Rights Management (DRM), issues licenses and provides access control to prevent misuse.

Meanwhile, in order to popularise the website, BIGFlix has started innovative advertising campaign, "Ab Aam Zindagi Ban Jaye Filmi" on television, playing the commercial during the ongoing Indian Premier League matches.

The commercial is a humorous take on movies like "Om Shanti Om", "Saawariya" and "Matrix."

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