Yahoo! India has launched a new portal called Movieplex, which will offer high quality Bollywood movie streams for free. Yahoo will be partnering with leading movie production houses in India to periodically introduce new movies.
“Over 30 million Internet users consume 1.7 billion videos every month across India (according to comScore January 2011 figures). Movieplex is an example of how Yahoo! connects people to what matters to them the most and Indian movie lovers now have the best full-length movies available to them at their convenience, remarked Arun Tadanki, MD of Yahoo! India.
Much like YouTube’s BoxOffice channel, Yahoo Movieplex is advertisement supported. Movies available at launch included “Rock On!!”, “Dil to Bachha Hai Ji”, “Aakrosh”, “Rann”, “Lamha”, “Crook”, “Rakht Charitra”, and “Rakht Charitra 2”.
In a country like India where piracy is rampant, movie production houses have been gradually warming up to the idea of leveraging the web. Rajshri group, which is one of India’s oldest and largest Movie and TV production houses, has its own online video-on-demand portal. Other third party services like NyooTV have also been gaining popularity. Although poor broadband penetration and below par internet speeds pose a serious challenge, forward looking initiatives like these are probably the best way to tackle piracy.