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Saregama gets into movie production, focuses on online distribution


Music and entertainment company Saregama has planned to get into film production and will also own the intellectual property of the content, according to a MediaNama report.

The entertainment company has made the announcement when ownership of IP is turning out a big incentive for producers to switch to online streaming services. This might end up forcing a change in how TV producers work with them.

In view of the development, the company has also partnered with Sun TV as a broadcaster and stopped making Hindi TV serials.

“The good part is that Sun TV allows content producers to retain the IP of the serials that we are creating. We worked last year also making content for Hindi TV serials. We have decided to completely stop that part because the IP is not retained by us. Hindi TV channels do not allow content producer to retain in the IP hence we do not want to pursue that any longer,” said,” Vikram Mehra, MD, Saregama, talking to MediaNama.

Also Read: Video streaming giant Netflix to raise $1.6 Bn in debt for content production

He added that the company, at any given time, runs 3-4 serials on Sun TV, which are profitable. However, Saregama doesn’t see that business scaling in the short run.

Talking about the content, Mehra clarified that it will be much different from the regular Bollywood content. The company plans to make thematic films under the Yoodlee films banner, which are practically zero on star cast, will have very limited theatre release.

The entertainment company also said that it plans to launch a movie a month, and five films are already ready to release: Abhi & Anu, Brij Mohan Amar Rahe, The Noblemen, Ashcharya Chakit and Hamid.

Revenue Plan

According to Mehra, these films have budgets in the low single-digit crores and the company should be able to go back and make a recovery easily by licensing them to these platforms or cable and satellite channels.

They will also have a limited offline release with PVR, targeting thematic audiences, in six to ten towns, with the primary purpose being to “recover the cost of advertising there and ensure that an enough critical reviews written on the film so that the valuation for digital guys and TV guys goes up.

As the battle for online video and music streaming is getting intensified in India, Amazon Prime, Netflix. Hotstar, Balaji Telefilms and others are also flexing muscles with contents specific for Indian audience.

With original content and partnership with leading Bollywood stars, the content war between Amazon Prime and Netflix in India has reached another level. While Netflix had sealed a deal with Red Chillies Entertainment for both his existing and upcoming titles, Amazon Prime won the streaming rights to Salman Khan’s past and future movies.

A few months ago, Netflix announced two new original series – ‘Selection Day’ and ‘Again’ from India.

Amazon Prime, an Amazon membership service, which was launched in India last year, has grown almost five times since the beginning of this year. The growth is the fastest among such subscribers for the Seattle-headquartered company across the globe.

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