Today, the owners of such theatres are keen on getting onto the online platform as they face stiff competition from bigger multiplexes.
The online movie ticketing market is estimated to be contributing over 20 per cent to the total box office collections in India, which suggests a huge growth potential. And BookMyShow is the category leader, selling millions of tickets a month.
Talking about the company’s focus on Tamil Nadu, and broadly the South Indian market, Ashish Saksena, COO - Cinemas, of the company, says, “The Tamil Nadu market is indeed very significant for us. In the south, particularly in many Tier II and III cities, standalone theatres form a large share of the total screens in the region. Today, these players are keen on getting onto our platform as they face stiff competition from bigger multiplexes. This was not the case a few years ago, when we faced a huge challenge entering the market.”
The aggregator service with a pan-India presence has over 4,000 screens on its platforms. And more than half of total screen additions made in the last financial year came from South India alone. “With the fact that movies are now released simultaneously across the country, and regional movies gaining importance by attracting viewers in other parts of the country, we are looking at expanding our presence to Tier II cities and beyond,” explains Saksena.
Giving us a breakdown of its revenue stream, a spokesperson from the company says, “Approximately 35 to 40 per cent of BookMyShow’s revenues come from ticketing for live events, plays and sports. We now provide end-to-end ticketing solutions for many largescale events such as Global Citizen Festival India 2016, IPL, Sunburn etc. As part of these spectator management services, BookMyShow offers ticket printing, delivery, gate entry management through automated turnstiles etc.”
This year, the company forayed into two new international markets – Indonesia and Sri Lanka and it is already seeing encouraging traction. BookMyShow has major plans up its sleeve in the coming days, which it plans to bring to life with a substantial funding. The company received Rs 550 crore worth of funding in July this year led by the US-based Stripes Group. '
The spokesperson says, “The funding is raised from a longterm prospective, which, in our business, is three-four years. The funding will enable us to invest in data analytics and building contextual entertainment content such as videos, trailers and reviews. We are looking to increase advertising revenue through branded content and native ads and expect it to contribute 10 per cent to the overall revenue.”
When asked about how the company plans to hold its ground in the wake of players like Paytm entering the movie ticket aggregator market, the spokesperson tells us, “You cannot wish away competition. But, we can focus on quality of our inputs and work towards our vision. We are cognizant and respectful of our competition.”
The company has set up a dedicated contact centre and a technical centre in Chennai.
BookMyShow has launched multiple language options for its website and users can choose from Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi in addition to the already existing default English option, and browse and transact in their preferred language.
These language versions have been launched with the intent to expand BookMyShow offerings to more users spanning across different geographies, especially those residing in Tier II and Tier III towns.
Over 75 per cent of BookMyShow’s transactions happen through mobile. The website was redesigned towards end of 2015. Post this, the bounce rate reduced by approximately 60 per cent while the average time spent went up by approximately 20 per cent.