The Indian DVD rental company BIGFlix is sending out emails to its customers announcing that it will not be renting out DVDs anymore and shift exclusively to streaming from early December, according to a report by MediaNama.
BIGFlix has a catalogue of over 1,000 feature-length movies for its paid subscribers, including over 500 in high definition. The service also has TV shows from popular channels and hundreds of free movies, trailers and video clips in various regional languages. It now plans to offer all of this content at a flat subscription fee of ₹249 ($5) per month.
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The company’s COO Manish Agarwal said, “Our plan is to go completely to a subscription video-on-demand model, with an all-you-can-eat film subscription priced at ₹249 per month that will offer a seamless experience across all devices and platforms.”
BIGFlix currently offers streaming services through its free Android and iPhone apps and will launch apps for other mobile phones, tablets and connected TVs in the coming months. The company tied up with Samsung in October to provide content for its My Movies app on Galaxy S and SII smartphones in India and with Bharti Airtel to offer a streaming solution to its customers.
BIGFlix had implemented the first phase of its transition from DVD rental and streaming to streaming-only when it shut down its physical retail outlets in June this year, even though the company had retained its online and call centre-based renting solutions at that time.
It remains to be seen if BIGFlix will face a backlash similar to its American counterpart NetFlix, which hiked the price of its DVD rental service by 60% in July this year and then tried to split it off into a separate business, eventually deciding against it after facing strong criticism from its customers and the media.