Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PVR looking beyond cinema screenings

Gurgaon-based PVR Ltd is looking to shore up customer footfalls and revenues by exploring streams that go beyond traditional cinema screenings.
New streams include theatre on-demand services like ‘Vkaao.com’. Rolled out in January, the service allows viewers to select a movie from its library and organise a screening at a convenient place, date and time.
According to Kamal Gianchandani, CEO, PVR Pictures, Vkaao has the potential to generate 5-7.5 per cent of the company’s total box-office revenues (through ticket collections) in the next two-to-three years. A lot of independent films (including regional cinema) that struggle to get a release will look at Vkaao as an exclusive launch platform.
“About 4-5 per cent of the Vkaao library consist of exclusives. This number will go up,” he told BusinessLine.
This incidentally is a part of the customer segmentation strategy that the multiplex chain is putting in place over the few years. The aim is to increase footfalls and utilise assets (days on which theatres have less occupancies), say sources.
Other strategies
Other customer segmentation strategies by PVR include creation of theatre-oriented differentiated offerings such as Director’s Cut, Gold Class and so on. A recent addition was a virtual reality platform in association with HP.
“It is too early to comment on revenues arising out of the (virtual reality) segment,” Gianchandani said. While more such innovations are on cards, online streaming or production are not on the company’s immediate radar.
Interestingly, market sources point out that western countries have seen collections from movie screenings (at theatres) dip with advent of “on-demand streaming services” (like Netflix) picking pace.
However, PVR on its part claimed that its new initiatives are not a knee-jerk reaction to such services. Rather they are based on customer preferences.
With nearly 55-60 per cent of its ticket bookings being done online, the company claims to have an enormous amount of data which it can use and analyse to understand customer preferences, identify need gaps and then innovate.
The company, at present, has 570-odd screens across the country and competes with other multiplex majors such as Inox, Carnival and Cinepolis here.
“A lot of segmentation or sub-brands (that) we have done are based on getting information about customer behaviour,” he said, adding that new initiatives are being worked upon. He, however, did not elaborate on the new initiatives.
While PVR did not give a budget that it has worked out , Gianchandani said: “Such initiatives go through rigorous feasibility studies”.
DT Cinemas integration
Meanwhile, the integration of DT Cinemas, the 32 screens that the company acquired last year, is expected to be completed by the first quarter (April-June) of FY-18.
“The integration is work-in-progress and by next 2-3 months it should be complete,” he said.

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