By Utpal Borpujari
Moser Baer, which has been at the forefront of lowering prices of film DVDs and VCDs in a direct effort to beat film pirates in their own game, has now decided to use one more strategy of pirates to fight them.
The company has decided to peg down the price of its “Super DVDs”, which contain legitimate and quality content in the form of three movies each, to between Rs 22-Rs 30, countering what pirates offer – 4-5 pirated movies often with bad reproduction – for around the same price.
To make the move successful, Moser Baer has also decided to introduce mobile vans that will take its products to retailers as well as consumers in rural India, who form the biggest consumer base for cheaper and easily-accessible pirated CDs.
“We have already launched a number of such three-movie DVDs of Gujarati films priced at Rs 22 each, while in Bengali, the pricing will be Rs 25, in Hindi Rs 27 and in all other language markets Rs 30 each,” Moser Baer Entertainment Ltd chief executive Harish Dayani said.
The first Hindi Super DVD set priced at Rs 27 will hit the markets in about a week’s time, comprising Moser Baer’s own, recently-released and critically-acclaimed production Sankat City along with eight different combinations of two other movies, he said. While in Tamil the price tag has been kept at Rs 30 each for these DVDs, experimentally the company has released the Super DVD containing the Tamil version of horror film 13B at Rs 25.
Moser Baer’s move, industry experts say, could lead to further lowering of DVD and VCD prices by competing labels, something that had happened when it had introduced cheaper DVDs and VCDs in the market some time back.
“We are also introducing at least 100 vans, mainly covered autorickshaws and Maruti Omnis, in 25 states in the next 60 days to take our products directly to the rural markets. In fact, already such retail vans have started operating in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra,” Dayani said.
Meanwhile, Moser Baer is spending around Rs 40-50 crore in the next 18 months on content acquisition, which includes 125 new films across languages. “In Hindi, we would need to acquire about 40 per cent of the content, while in Malayalam, we have already acquired 60 per cent of the films being released in the next 18 months,” Dayani said.
The company, riding on the response to its home productions Shaurya and Sankat City, is also going ahead with more film projects, which includes three in Tamil, one of which is the Tamil version of Imtiaz Ali’s blockbuster Jab We Met. It also has four Hindi and one Malaylam film in the pipeline.