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Home > India > Business > Business Headline > Report

Anil Ambani eyes video rental business

March 24, 2008 12:09 IST

The Reliance [Get Quote] Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (R-ADAG) has chalked out a roadmap for its online and offline video rental business - BigFlicks - which works on the lines of the US video rental distribution network - Blockbuster.

The group plans to raise the number of such stores to 500 across 35-40 cities by April 2009 from the current 22 stores in 6 cities.

The retail video service had a soft launch last year following the video-on-demand portal BigFlicks' launch in August 2007. Currently, 22 such rental stores are in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Bangalore.

By mid-April, the company intends to set up 28 additional stores in four more cities including Indore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai.

"This apart, Reliance World outlets will house around 75 shop-in-shop format stores and the remaining 375 stores will be opened through the franchise model," said Kamal Gianchandani, COO, home entertainment, Reliance Entertainment.

He added that the franchise model was still being worked out for a likely start in May. During the launch of BigFlicks last year, the company said that Reliance- ADAG would invest around $100 million in the next 3 years.

Gianchandani added that almost 40 per cent of the proposed investment has already been done since August last.

Customers have two choices, opting either for a subscription model or paying as they walk in a store. The price points for the second choice range between Rs 40 and Rs 80 per DVD/ VCD, depending on the language.

The subscription model, which contributes almost 95 per cent to the business, has three monthly unlimited DVDs plans of Rs 250 (for one DVD, which means a customer can take only one DVD at a time), Rs 400 (two DVDs) and Rs 500 (three DVDs), respectively.

The home entertainment company also offers an online, complimentary mail order service.  "With this venture, our vision is to build a scalable business model that brings entertainment to all types of customers and homes through a multi-channel distribution platform - broadband, internet, home delivery and retail," said Gianchandani.

Meanwhile, the online video-on-demand portal has witnessed over 10 lakh visitors. The portal has around 1,000 movie titles in Hindi, English, Bangla, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Tamil, among others. Eyeing the diaspora, covers over 100 countries.

NRIs can either download a film on rent (45 days) or buy it for $2.5-10.

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