PVR jumps on to OTT bandwagon, partners movie-streaming service Mubi

PVR brand hoarding seen outside a multiplex in Mumbai
PVR, the country’s largest multiplex operator, on Wednesday said it had tied up with global movie streaming service Mubi, as part of a broader plan to partake of growth in the over-the-top (OTT) market, currently booming in India.

The partnership will see subscribers of Mubi in India get a free ticket to watch a movie releasing at PVR cinemas every week. This is the first time a film exhibitor and an OTT player are getting into an alliance, sector experts said.

London-headquartered Mubi, popular in the US and Europe, is best known for its curated line-up of films in English and other languages. Competitors of Mubi include Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, who also rely on movie content to drive viewership.

Kamal Gianchandani, chief executive officer of PVR Cinemas, said the multiplex operator was open to partnerships with other OTT platforms to drive footfalls into its theatres.

“The partnership with Mubi proves that film exhibitors can look at a meaningful association with OTT platforms. The tie-up is also an exclusive one. Mubi has launched an introductory offer of Rs 199 for three months in India. Those interested can subscribe to the service and then migrate to Mubi’s regular plans after three months. Meanwhile, we will continue getting footfalls into our theatres through the free movie ticket initiative,” Gianchandani said.

Efe Cakarel, founder and chief executive officer of Mubi, said India was an important market for the service and the first one outside of the UK where it had a tie-up with a multiplex operator.

“While we’ve been largely present in Europe and America, we entered South East Asia this year and have now launched in India. The tie-up with PVR will help us gain visibility in a market where there are no dearth of OTT players,” Cakarel said.

In India, Mubi has launched a dedicated channel, where local movies are being showcased, in addition to the global feed that has international titles. The company has also appointed film producer Guneet Monga, best known for films such as Gangs of Wasseypur, Lunchbox, and Masaan as its India content advisor. 

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