Reliance â€“ Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s BigFlicks.com entertainment web site has gone live (albeitÂ in alpha mode i.e. a kind of test version).
BigFlicks’ selection of Indian entertainment content is supposed to include Bollywood and Indian regional movies, TV programs, movie songs and music videos. Currently, the content is mostly a sparse selection of Hindi, Telugu and Marathi movies.
There’s also an Adult Movie selection – with five movies currently – that can be viewed anywhere except in India.
BigFlicks’ target market seems to be primarily the NRI crowd in the U.S., UK, Canada, Middle East, South East Asia, Europe and Australia, given the high broadband penetration in these countries and the presumed craze of desis abroad for Indian content.
Users can stream the BigFlicks content for free or buy or rent the video content via download, whichÂ can take from 30 minutes to three hours.
Movies cost from $4.49 to $19.99 to buy. For instance, last year’s Hindi hit movie Rang De Basanti costs $14.99Â while the Telugu movie Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana is $4.49.
But does the BigFlicks launch matter fromÂ a $$$$ perspective?Â
While we suspect the free option will prove popular, we seriously doubt that NRIs will cough up $$$$$ for the content, at leastÂ in the U.S. market.
Indian content is readily available in the form of DVDs for $1 rental at most U.S. desi grocery stores and new Hindi movies are released on the same day in mainstream American theaters like Regal and Loews in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvannia. Then there are the Indian theaters that focus exclusively on Hindi, Telugu and Tamil movies in New Jersey, California and elsewhere.
Further, Dish and DirecTV services with their array of Indian channels are easily available across the U.S. and many Indians have signed up.
And we haven’t even taken into account Netflix, desi DVD rental firms and the pirates.
While no special BigFlicks software necessary to play streaming content other than Windows Media Player, a proprietary download manager/player is required to access the downloadable content.
BigFlicks’ content is not compatible with the popular Apple iPods or for that matter Sony PSPs or the Microsoft Zune players. There are also geographical restrictions on the content.
BigFlicks competitors include Rajshri, Indyaondemand from Rupert Murdoch’s Star and the pirate web sites.
You can access BigFlicks here.