Maximum profit, eyeballs via global distribution

NEW DELHI: As movie distribution markets worldwide are beginning to grow, it has become essential for content distributors to ensure maximization of profit and appropriate exposure level of the content.


Addressing this topic at ASSOCHAM, moderator IPTV India Forum vice president Sujata Dev conducted a discussion with Eros International UK executive vice president Marcus Stuart, Hunters College head entertainment division Klaus Muller, P9 Integrated CEO Navin Shah and Movico Technologies senior advisor Andy Jacob.


During the discussion panelists spoke on varied topics such as movie content consumption, its growth, marketing, film festivals, digitization and censorship amongst others.


Talking about movie consumption, Hunters College head entertainment division Klaus Muller said, “Movie content consumption has grown beyond the Indian Diaspora. Western population likes to watch Indian films, which are a mix of Bollywood and regional cinema. The foremost reason for this is the ability to escape from reality by way of song and dance. Not only upper middle class but also the middle class people have begun to like Bollywood.”


Shedding light on film marketing P9 Integrated CEO Navin Shah pointed out, “Distribution is the push factor and marketing is the pull factor. If films become brands they will transcend borders.”  


Shah further added, “It is essential to promote brand Bollywood. Out of the total Rs 1000 – 1500 crore rupees that is given as entertainment tax, we should invest Rs 200 crore annually on promoting Bollywood via festivals, theme parks, merchandise and also Shah Rukh Khan. Shah Rukh dedicated 40 days to promote Om Shanti Om, if he allots 30 days to promote Bollywood around the world it would really help.”


Elaborating more on Shah Rukh’s contribution he said, “Germany as a market for Bollywood has not grown suddenly. Tremendous feeding has gone into this. In 2002 when Shah Rukh starrer Asoka released, he went to Germany to promote his movie. Since then such activities have been undertaken and today we can finally see the result by way of emergence of a new market in Germany.”


Muller also stressed on the importance of Film Festivals. He said, “New York City has 25 film festivals and India has only 13 film festivals. For a country that produces 1000 films and 2000 documentaries and short films, 13 film festivals are too few to showcase them. Film festivals should be supported if Indian films need wider recognition.”


Muller also commented on the importance of the Co-production of movies between India and companies abroad. “Many American companies like Sony, Viacom and Fox are now investing in India.”


Speaking on Digital Distribution of content Eros International UK executive vice president Marcus Stuart said, “Digital distribution of content on internet in India is less. The Eros website receives 65 per cent hits from the US. The Internet medium in India will change in the next five – six years. Currently I am more optimistic about the digital distribution in theatres.”


Further commenting on the varied Censorship Regulations of different countries and its impact on promotions Marcus commented, “Hollywood films are filled with a lot of arrogance, destruction and aliens in it. On the other hand, Bollywood content is far more positive in nature so even if a few obscene scenes are deleted in India it will not restrict its worldwide promotion.”


Some more facts that were pointed out included dubbing or sub titling of content to reach out to smaller markets in order to suit the specific city/country, focus should be on building good content rather than to over expose it; to tie up with tourism board of various countries to promote Bollywood by way of shooting movies in their country and in turn ensure fine distribution of the movie in that country.