Over the top (OTT) platform Eros Now will start streaming Gerard Butler-starrer Greenland from March on its newly launched pay per view model called First Day First Show.
Along with Greenland, the platform will be getting more STX Films (film studio producing global content) including Horizon Line, Queenpins, Copshop, American Sole, The Marsh King’s Daughter, Run Rabbit Run, Devotion, Every Note Played, and Memory in India over the next 18 months.
While the platform is starting with Hollywood content slate, Eros Now will also get around eight to 10 Bollywood ventures this year.
"As we produce and distribute films there will be content coming from our own slate of productions. Plus, we are also looking at acquiring," said Pradeep Dwivedi, Chief Executive Officer, ErosSTX India.
Dwivedi said the films on Eros Now's First Day First Show offering will directly stream on the platform.
"Whole objective of First Day First Show is that these movies will not be available in theatres and they are coming to Eros Now platform first. Once we are done with premium video on-demand (PVoD) window anywhere from 35 to 50 days then we may explore a theatrical release."
The films on First Day First Show will be available for Rs 149 for three devices.
Dwivedi expects the new feature to help the platform gain traction in terms of subscribers, build up a new premium subscriber base as well as bring in revenue to offset the cost of acquiring content.
"If you look at the price plan of subscriber video on-demand platforms, it is very competitive. The new offering will allow us to bring supplementary users who will come to the platform for niche content without being tied up for a long-term plan and at the same time they can experience the platform's quality and may become long-term subscribers," he said.
Eros Now, which currently has 36.2 million paid users, is targeting to increase its subscriber base to 50 million by March 2023.
Along with Eros Now, platforms like ShemarooMe and ZEE5 have also ventured into pay per view model.
When it comes to whether pay per view model will gain traction or not, opinions are divided.
Some experts are of the opinion that it is very difficult for a critical mass to pay for a single piece of content and that the model has a minute footprint in India.
Other experts point out that a movie available under the pay- per-view model is not for a single person, but can be watched by many. According to them, the pay per view model can gain momentum in the long term if payment mechanisms improve and more people move towards the digital payment mode.
A recent BCG report titled Lights, Camera, Action... The Show Must Go On noted that pay per view model is gaining traction.
The report pointed out that subscriptions saw a significant growth in 2020.Hence, pay per view model picking up pace in India may not be very surprising especially when as many as one crore Indians shifted to OTTs last year.