UTV lines up movies for online distribution

MUMBAI: UTV Motion Pictures is all set to redefine the landscape of film distribution. The company has inked tie-ups with three portals that will premiere UTV Motion Pictures’ two forthcoming film releases online, along with other films from the company’s library.

Vikram Bhatt directed Fear premieres on 10 August across three portals, www.rajshri.com, www.bigflicks.com, www.indyaondemand.com. This film will be released online without a theatrical release, a first for an Indian film.

Further, Vishal Bhardwaj’s The Blue Umbrella also releases online on 10 August, the same day as its theatrical release in India. Each online movie download is priced at $ 9.99 for a standard download and $ 19.99 for a higher resolution download. This is targeted at audiences in markets like the US, UK, South East Asia and the Middle East. Both movies will be available on a ‘download to own’ instead of the usual ‘download to rent’ with 72 hours DRM.

UTV Motion Pictures COO Siddharth Roy Kapur says, “Our audiences overseas have lesser ease of access to our films as compared to audiences here in India. Using the Internet as a medium of distribution is the way forward for content owners to combat piracy; which is to have movies available for viewing legitimately online.”

Some of the other UTV films that one can see online include: Swades, Rang De Basanti, Taxi No 9211, Bluffmaster, Chup Chup Ke, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Humko Deewana Kar Gaye, Hattrick and Life in a Metro.

As of now, this paid for content is being consumed primarily by the overseas audience and the revenue stream thus generated has a limited impact on the overall revenue of films. However, the next generation of film distribution will see online and IPTV contributing much larger ratios to overall film revenues.