Naina KhedekarJun 13, 2016 15:29:01 IST
In India, there is no form of entertainment preferred as much as movies. Most of us love watching movies, and how. It is this passion that drove Abhayanand Singh to build Muvizz.com. To be precise, the long wait to watch a movie like Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) led to the venture.
"For someone like me who grew up with such a passion for movies, a six-month wait to watch the masterpiece was too long a period. My passion for movies and hunger to share this passion with our target audience led me to develop the idea of muvizz.com. This venture is my way of giving a tribute to all those movies with amazing content, " said co-founder Abhayanand Singh. Now, this also puts Muvizz.com amid a lot of competition. However, while there are many options to watch mainstream cinema, Muvizz takes a different approach by offering cinema that does not reach its audience easily.
Muvizz is an Over The Top (OTT) or video-on demand (VOD) platform that offers cult, classic and independent films to cinema lovers across the world. So, it offers only a curated list of titles including short films, documentaries and feature films in various languages. It is available to access via website and Android app.
Singh comes with over a decade of experience in industries such as banking, finance, pharma, art, furniture, software and media while co-founder Piyush Singh has been into television production for more than 10 years. Muvizz has raised Rs 3.5 crore ($600,000) in angel funding from three Singapore-based investors – Ashish Todi, MD at Frost Global Pte Ltd; Abhinav Patodia, director at Navtech; and Kumar Shwetabh, CEO at Pacific Global Inc. "This funding has helped muvizz.com expand its team and also reach out to global markets," Singh adds.
Muvizz makes money through free (via advertisements), subscription-based and pay per view options. The startup is yet to break even but has a lot of traction on the website. For paid services, there’s a 50 percent split of revenues between Muvizz and the content provider. Advertisements on movies is an additional source of income, limited to free subscriptions.
"Most video-on-demand (VOD) services so far have been pretty successful in shaking up how the average consumer watches TV and movies. I am certain most viewers are quickly getting used to making their homes a preferred destination for just about all other digital content. This helps us understand that viewers if not now at least in the future will be attuned to VOD and OTT services, which we plan to take full advantage," Singh believes.
The company plans to acquire a perfect blend of Indian (including regional) as well as foreign language content and also produce more original content that will give a helping hand to independent film makers by funding their films. To reach out customers, Muvizz has invested in online as well as offline marketing.
"We use the traditional ATL and BTL activities to reach our audience. We have also produced a few short films as a marketing tool to identify our prospective users online," he said. The founders have produed short films, and currently in the process of producing yet another short film called "Kriti" directed by Shirish Kunder starring Manoj Bajpayee, Radhika Apte and Neha Sharma.
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