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How streaming portals like Netflix and Amazon Prime are going to impact the cinema business


Technology has taken the world through various channels of advancement. And through the incorporation of IOT or big data, we have seen a sea change in terms of how data is consumed.

Now, digital content is all the rage, with people churning out various platforms to cash in on this. To support that and provide the masses ease in accessibility, digital mediums such as Netflix and Amazon are all the rage. This takes the enjoyment of movies/serials from a mainstream offline medium to an online vertical.

Netflix and Amazon Prime are utilised for ushering in a new sense of connectivity while pooling on the accessibility factor. Yet businesses are saying they are affecting mainstream offerings – why?


Releasing a new film both in theatres and through on-demand isn’t unheard of, but we need to be cautious of this untested means of film distribution.

These digital mediums have allowed a certain accessibility to people for streaming movies in the comfort of the home. This has impacted live attendance at movie theatres and has also marked a decline in footfalls.

However, survey responses indicate that frequent theatre-goers are not really moved by the introduction of these digital mediums.


Netflix boasts additional subscribers every year, with roughly 50 million subscribers worldwide as of this posting. That’s a significant increase over where the company was only a few years ago, and it is a good business strategy for studios to try reaching consumers where they already are: sitting at home in front of their TVs.

With this move, movie theaters are worried about these streaming services stealing their audience and are hence putting a forth a new customer strategy for the acquisition. Cinemas are looking to shore up customer footfalls and revenues by exploring engagement that goes beyond traditional cinema screenings.

Cinemas have come up with a strategy for women, students, families etc., introducing a super-saver day when ticket prices are dropped significantly, thereby building on the ultimate aim of getting more people into theatres.

Judging by how strongly theatres are refusing to assist, they clearly believe new films being made available to stream at home, on the same day as a theatrical release, is a big threat.


Online movie and event ticketing platforms like BookMyShow, PayTm etc have partnered with cinema chains to gain a stronger foothold in the country. The associations have enabled customers to book tickets with great discount offerings and have an increase spends per head of movie-goers and cinema lovers to positively impact the overall business.

These services allow movie buffs to avoid the hassle of standing in queues and also provide an option of choosing their own seat, thus also providing a comfort to the audience.


The multiplex business has been treating big-ticket movies like Baahubali, Dangal etc as a feast. The Hindi film industry looks forward to special occasions like Diwali, Christmas etc., for the launch of their movies. The charm in non-metro cities is even more powerful as the audience is enthusiastic to go and visit the cinema halls during this period, which is an important aspect for cinema owners and acts as their bread and butter.


There are other factors, however, that are playing into why movie theaters have been experiencing a steady decline in business. For one, those same advancements that led to a better home viewing experience also led to more forms of entertainment constantly vying for our attention.

Television continues to be tough competition for the movie theatre. In many ways, TV has simply stolen a lot of cinema’s best tricks – like good production values and top tier actors – and brought them into people’s living rooms. In addition, video games have progressed rapidly over the last decade and have recently come into their own as an impressive – and more importantly, immersive – medium for storytelling. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s the Internet and its pervasive role in our everyday life.

(Written by Tinku Singh, Group President & CSO, SRS)

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