Vodafone Idea to offer latest Hollywood movies on rent

Vodafone Idea launched one of India’s first per-per-view service on its Vi Movies & TV platform.

The service, which will enable users to rent premium video content such as new movies, will be clubbed with what the company called ‘deals from Hungama Digital’ — an independent provider digital video and audio content.

Initially, the service will offer more than 380 movies, including Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet”, in four languages – Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.

Other titles include Joker, Birds of Prey, SCOOB and Aquaman.

Tenet will be available to Vi customers at Rs 120, while other movies will be available at Rs 60.

Hungama said it will tie-up with major international studios to make available premium titles to Indian subscribers.

Users can rent a film title and watch it within a window of 48 Hours from the comfort of their home. They also have the option to Chromecast the film and watch it on a large screen.

The company will continue to provide free videos and movies as part of its Vi Movies & TV service for its customers, while high-end/premium videos will make an appearance of pay-per-view section.

“The PVOD market in India is very premature but promising, as Indian audience continues to be price conscious and choosy,” said Vodafone Idea.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruption in the consumption of premium videos in the country due to the fear of contracting the virus in closed set-ups like movie theaters.

“The PVOD models are changing in the new post pandemic era as consumers are looking at alternative options of entertainment in the comfort of their homes.”

Many movie producers have been forced to release their movies on content streaming services. Amazon’s Prime Video has become a key player in this segment, and has released several such movies on the platform.

However, Amazon’s business model involves paying crores, or even tens of crores of rupees to the producer, and then streaming it ‘free’ of charge to subscribers of its Prime service.

However, Vodafone Idea’s business model does not require exclusive access, and video titles can be made available on the pay per view platform even when they are available on other such services, including similar services from satellite TV service providers, or even when they are running in theaters.

“With the opening of the economy and entertainment business, new content consumption models are emerging that allow users to watch single content for a specific price. Our innovative and partnership led content strategy has helped us adopt a telco-first approach for content monetisation in this hugely untapped market. We look forward to working with like-minded partners like Hungama Digital, to grow this segmentl,” the telecom operator said.

Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media said his company wants to offer users the opportunity to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters within a few weeks of their theatrical release.

“The integration of Hungama Play’s transactional service with Vi Movies and TV will allow their users to explore and consume an extensive library of the latest Hollywood titles, giving them access to global entertainment on their phones. We have had a long and fruitful relationship with Vi and are certain that the latest association will expand the scope of on-demand services that can be offered to Vi users.”

Vi Movies & TV has over 9500 movies in 13 different languages, 300+ live TV channels as well as dozens of original web series and International TV shows.

It is available for free for anyone with access to a Vodafone Idea phone connection.