Billionaire Mukesh Ambani plans to shake up the Indian movie and entertainment industry with an idea of releasing 'one movie a week' through JioFiber network, under the 'First Day First Show' offering. Jio Studios, which is in the business of content generation for Reliance Jio's broadband and mobility platforms, aims to produce and release 52 movies in a year. They plan to achieve such scale within two to three years.
"We want to line up at least 52 movies to release in a year. There will be three sources-develop own script and produce the movie, co-produce with other production houses and acquire movies from third parties. We want to produce movies in 6 to 11 languages," Jyoti Deshpande, President, Chairman's Office, Media and Entertainment Business, Reliance Industries (RIL) told Business Today. Besides movies, Jio Studios is in the business of production of web series, music and other long and short form of content across 11 languages.
Reliance Jio is waiting to get a critical mass of 10-15 films and 20 million broadband connected homes to begin 'First Day First Show' service. Initially, they will be looking to release one or two movies in a month, scaling it up later to 'one movie a week'. The cost of the movies is expected to be in the range of Rs 15-20 crore.
In the offering, Jio will play a role of movie exhibitors. As exhibitors made investments to build the theaters, Jio spent for fibers, TVs and set-top boxes. In the future, Jio looks to scale up 'First Day First Show' as a platform for producers to release their movies and earn additional profits besides what they get from releasing on screens. But, for convincing the viability of the business model, Jio Studios needs to initially scale up its in-house movie production.
According to Deshpande, the country has severe movie screen shortage. "Our largest movies reach a maximum 5,000 screens today, including multiplexes and single screens. There are just 2000 multiplexes in India, while China has 35,000 screens. How will we expand box office revenue? 'First Day First Show' gives the window to expand the industry when we digitally connect the homes through optical fiber," she said.
"We are trying to build a compelling content ecosystem around our mobile and broadband distribution network," said the former CEO of Eros International who joined Jio about one-and-a-half years back. Jio Studios produced two movies recently - Stree and Luka Chuppi - which were hits. Stree is a case in point as Reliance produced it for Rs 15 crore, but grossed a whopping Rs 150 crore, she said.
Jio has marketed Stree first on Jio customer base, which had then 280 million customers. "Usually Bollywood movies chart out its distribution strategy first, followed by marketing in the geographies where they get more screens. In the case of Stree, we did the reverse. We first identified places where we got more traction on the trailer. Later we finalised the number of screens, depending on the traction in various regions. Finally, we sold tickets through another platform of Network 18, Book my show," she said, adding that the techno-analytical approach of Reliance Jio has translated into the business of Stree.
The JioFiber, which launched on September 5, is accompanied by a fixed-line phone service, a gaming-capable set-top-box, free 4K LED TV and Jio Internet of Things (IoT) services. They offer GigaFiber broadband service, which has a minimum network speed of 100Mbps and go all the way up to 1Gbps. It has been offered at one-tenth of global rates, which ranges from Rs 700 a month to Rs 10,000.