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Last Updated : Jul 15, 2019 09:59 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Theatre-on-demand platform Vkaao nearly doubles releases for 2019, service sees high traction in small towns

The platform was started in January 2017 and has released as many as 75 titles in the last two years

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam
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Multiplex chain operator PVR’s and online ticketing platform, BookMyShow-backed theatre-on-demand platform Vkaao is seeing a rising demand not only in metros but also in smaller towns. This shows that the concept of theatre-on-demand is fast catching up in India.

This is why Vkaao is nearly doubling its content line-up for this year.

Talking to Moneycontrol, Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, said, “In the last year, Vkaao released about 40 films. This year, the target is to release over 75 films across various distribution formats of Vkaao, including Independent Films, Regional films, Vkaao Exclusive (English), Vkaao Gems (Foreign Language Films) and some more formats which are going to be launched in the next few months.”

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The platform, which was started in January 2017, has released as many as 75 titles in the last two years.

“Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Pune, Chennai and Kolkata are markets where films have been performing very well with occupancy levels at a high," said Vaibhav Lal, co-founder and CEO, Vkaao.

Along with metros, the service is gaining momentum in tier II cities as well.

“Smaller towns have certainly witnessed an eye towards watching content in theatres. With BookMyShow’s presence across 650 towns and cities, films on Vkaao have managed to transcend audiences in metros to reach tier II and beyond cities, boosting awareness around such alternative content and cinema available on the platform,” said Lal.

In addition, “Hollywood movies have done extremely well on Vkaao in tier II cities and beyond, given that these films don’t typically have large releases in such cities,” said Lal.

So, how does this platform work?

VKAAO is a platform which allows viewers to select their preferred movie along with the location, date and time of the screening, at any theatre of their choice.

The average ticket price typically ranges between Rs 200 – Rs 250.

So far, VKAAO has conducted over 4,000 screenings across metros and tier I and II cities.

In an earlier interview to Moneycontrol, Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures had said VKAAO had 1,600 shows in 2017, and in the calendar year of 2018, it showed more than 3,000 shows on demand.

While Vkaao is bringing more variety of films to movie-goers, it is also changing the distribution game, especially for small films.

“Vkaao enables independent filmmakers to release their movies in multiplexes that would have otherwise not had a large-scale theatrical release, due to multiple factors not limited to massive budgets required for marketing, promotions, logistical costs,” said Marzdi Kalianiwala, Head - Marketing and Business Intelligence, BookMyShow.

And Lal concurs with Kalianiwala.

According to him, filmmakers have identified Vkaao as their preferred platform when it comes to having a limited release in select cities and theatres where they believe they can connect with audiences.

“As a long-tail business model, their film is also available on our platform after the release where customers from other cities that may not have had a release, can visit our website and create a screening at their preferred theatre,” he added.

But how is Vkaao helping brand PVR?

Gianchandani explained that “the average occupancy on weekdays in cinemas are relatively less as compared to weekends and, to bridge this gap, Vkaao has released a few movies and had a few special screenings, paid previews over the weekdays.”

“This ensures a higher occupancy and healthy footfalls across PVR theatres during weekdays also,” he said.

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First Published on Jul 15, 2019 06:55 pm
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