Over-the-top streaming platforms are indisputably the flavour of the season, particularly with theatres being shut throughout lockdown.
As demand for authentic content material stays excessive, extra people and companies are exploring the choice of venturing into digital streaming verticals; chief amongst them are Tamil movie producers who see the funding as a possibility to realize a much bigger minimize of the earnings, one thing that was not potential when theatres have been nonetheless within the image.
The most recent to make a ‘digital foray’ is CV Kumar of Thirukumaran Leisure manufacturing banner whose pay-per-view (PPV) streaming service, Regal Talkies, launches on July 8.
Kumar claims that he had been toying with the concept for some time however had not acted on it because of “apprehensions” that the viewers might not settle for a brand new platform. “Since the lockdown period has shown there is audience support for subscription-based streaming services, I thought this was the best time to launch,” he says.
Excerpts from an interview:
Is there a necessity for a PPV service?
There isn’t a dearth for good tales right here. Nevertheless, we’re solely in a position to inform these tales inside a measure as a result of a function movie is dear to provide. Publicity price has elevated drastically.
The multiplex tradition has given area for different language movies to dominate screens. In rural areas, theatres don’t earn income until it’s a star’s movie. And so with out good publicity, it’s laborious to place a movie with good content material among the many viewers; that’s, if in any respect the movie manages to get a theatrical launch.
Good content material movies have a tendency to choose up tempo with word-of-mouth publicity. A few of your movies are examples… like Pizza.
Most small movies don’t get a giant opening like star movies. By the point word-of-mouth and good opinions begin to get round, the distributor share would have gone down from 50-50 to 40-60 and 30-70 [percent] within the second week.
Pizza was working to packed homes in a number of the largest multiplex screens, typically making as a lot as ₹1 lakh per present. However, are you aware how a lot of it I acquired? Round ₹22,000.
So, Regal Talkies is a platform for indie and small-budget options affected by the theatrical launch system?
Sure, as a result of the principle subject there may be that producers don’t earn a fair proportion of the income.
Most small finances productions, my movies included, don’t launch abroad. It releases on an OTT platform or a PPV service. The Tamil diaspora watches these movies via such platforms. It isn’t that everyone needs to observe solely huge star movies on a regular basis.
Is your goal demography the diaspora viewers?
My viewers will likely be those that need to watch good content material movies. Look, there was this movie I previewed in 2016. It was made on a finances of practically ₹1.5 crore however they couldn’t spend any extra to put it on the market. Overlook earning profits on the field workplace, it was uncertain of getting a theatrical launch.
Now think about such movies releasing right here and we set a nominal charge of 100. Let’s assume one lakh folks watch it. The producer stands to make ₹1 crore. That is the best choice for such movies.
Who units the PPV charge?
We seek the advice of the producer and set a charge that we deem is truthful for the content material the viewers will watch.
What’s the launch line-up?
We will likely be premiering a movie Miruna, a romcom directed by Rakav Mirdath, the author of Baaram. On July 24, there will likely be Onbathu Kuzhi Sampath which has Nikhila Vimal within the lead. Moreover now we have a lineup of present motion pictures too. The thought is to launch at the very least two or three contemporary movies each month.
Launching Regal Talkies is a daring transfer. There may be as a lot to go mistaken right here as it might go proper since it’s a money guzzling enterprise…
Sure, from the surface, it might seem to be the content material enterprise is simple going however the knowledge bills these platforms incur is big.
Rallying towards routine
- Although NRIs and Tamil diaspora subscribe to PPV providers to observe Indian movies, this apply continues to be unusual right here. Nevertheless, the lockdown has proven encouraging indicators with subscription providers like Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ Hotstar including extra customers. Kumar taking this step is certain to lift a number of eyebrows throughout the highly effective theatre house owners foyer.
- Is he not fearful he might face the identical backlash as Kamal Haasan (after the actor proposed a DTH premiere of Vishwaroopam) and Cheran (after his 2015 Cinema 2 Dwelling proposal) did? “The dynamics and structure of the producers group has changed. Back then, 80% of our business was theatrical revenue,” he says, including, “Theatres only contribute 20-25% of revenue today and producers are aware of it. Also, theatres really don’t mind if small films release directly on digital platforms. It is only with the star films they will have an issue.”
There’s something known as Content material Supply Community (CDN). I want a CDN service like Akamai or Wowza if I’m to ship my content material to a worldwide viewers; for that now we have to decide to ‘X’ TB of knowledge and pay upfront.
As an example, for those who spend 2GB knowledge watching a movie, I too am expending 2GB knowledge from my aspect offering that content material. Now think about if 1 lakh folks watch that movie, I will likely be expending 2 lakh GB individually… and knowledge fees are large. I’ve taken this on with some perception and confidence.
What about your movie initiatives? You had began a slew of them earlier than lockdown…
There are 5 initiatives in filming levels. All of them have been shot for 10-15 days earlier than lockdown was introduced.
This features a horror flick with Ashwin Kakumanu and Kaali Venkat, and one other with Shivada Nair and Ramya Pandian within the lead. There are two absolutely completed movies — 4G with GV Prakash Kumar and Titanic Kadhalum Kavundhu Pogum with Kalaiyarasan. One other movie known as Jango is within the post-production stage.