With the evolution of cinema, the love and craze for movies in India is ever-growing. Watching movies is not just a hobby for Indians, it is an integral part of our daily lives. Over the years, BookMyShow has changed the ticketing landscape in India in terms of how Indians watched movies by pioneering the concept of online ticketing in the country. It has more than 2.5 crore active users while overall downloads had been close to 5 crore.
Aimed at enhancing movie watching experience, BookMyShow aids movie buffs right from buying the tickets to providing them options like splitting ticket costs, sharing the tickets with friends/ family, Mycoupons which offer discount coupons of restaurants in and around the theatre and booking food and beverage (F&B) options. It is shaping itself as a one-stop entertainment platform.
Ashish Saksena, COO – Cinemas, BookMyShow, told Telangana Today, “Movie business is big in India and is extremely disorganised. There are 7,500 screens in the country and 2,500 of them are multiplex screens. South has many single screens accounting for almost 50-60 per cent in the country.”
“In the organised sector, 25-30 per cent of business comes from online. Online ticketing is a new and urban phenomenon depending on internet penetration. BookMyShow is focusing on tier-2 and tier-3 cities. In the case of major multiplexes, online sales are as high as 60-70 per cent in South. We are focusing on south market. Number of movie releases are high. Movie going culture is very strong. Internet access, penetration and literacy is high in south compared to other markets. Almost 55 per cent of sales come from south,” he added.
BookMyShow is seeing healthy growth in the domestic market. The company is also looking at overseas markets and has been operating in Indonesia in the last two years and is seeing growth opportunities in Sri Lanka.
Hyderabad tops charts
BookMyShow occupies over 80 per cent in the Indian online movie ticketing space. Hyderabad tops the online booking charts followed by Bengaluru, Mumbai, NCR, Chennai and Pune.
Multiplexes contribute significantly to online ticketing in Hyderabad. Internet connectivity is seamless in Hyderabad and people being online savvy makes it the top market. Multi-language release is another aspect that keeps the city growing in this space in addition to its metropolitan outlook.
Hyderabad is a thriving city and BookMyShow is upbeat about the prospects the city has, Saksena said.
Speaking about innovation, he adds, “Innovation is a constant endeavour to engage users. F&B has been a classic example. It is an essential component of movie watching. There is a very limited time to serve unlike restaurants or quick service restaurants. We have 650-700 cinemas on our platform with F&B service. We have just started with Cinepolis and had been working with Asian Cinemas beside others. Innovation is ongoing. Some of the new initiatives are in pilot stage.”
Competition is growing in the movie ticketing business. Innovation will help BookMyShow to create differentiators.
“We are looking at introducing cancellation feature which is not yet in the segment. Cancellation pilot is in progress and will be launched commercially this year. We have also introduced m-ticket feature through which movie-goers can experience seamless walkthrough. The website is user-friendly and provides details that a user looks for such as movie synopsis and seat selection. We have also paid attention to keep the portal cyber secured,” Saksena informed.
Impact of piracy
Piracy has not impacted much. India is a movie-going nation. The impact has come down significantly. There had been lesser cases in the last one year. South more so has been stringent in tackling piracy, he said.