Chat with the founder and CEO of Seventymm

Written by: Madhur

On Apr 22nd, 2007

[Update: Seventymm has given a special discount code for the readers of iLeher. See how to avail the offer at the end of the post]

Bollywood is big. It produces more movies than Hollywood. It sells more tickets worldwide compared to Hollywood. It has more more than double the annual growth rate compared to Hollywood. It was only a matter time that someone took notice of this and did an Indian version of Netflix, the online DVD rental service. Well as it turns out, several did. Seventymm is one of the largest and most VC funded players in this space. We profiled another company Madhouse.in few months back on iLeher. There are several others trying to make a mark in this seemingly lucrative space. And just when you thought the market is getting saturated, the Indian behemoth Reliance announced its entry in this space with BigFlicks.com. Did someone say bubble? Well we’ll see who (perhaps there is room for more than one?) emerges out as the winner but the activity in this space is peaking because of combination of several factors including growth in Internet penetration and usage, growth in the installed base of DVD players and burgeoning venture funding scene in India.

We talked with Seventymm on various aspects of their business including market stats, competition and what we expect to see from them in future. Here is what Raghav Kher, the founder and CEO of Seventymm had to say. Also they were kind enough to give our readers a special discount code to try out their service for free. Find the code at the bottom of the post.

1. Seventymm is obviously the most well funded company and has the largest footprint in India. Do you mind giving us some quick stats on number of subscribers, number of DVD’s it has in the collection, current market share etc.?

Seventymm has a library of over 15,000 films in Hindi, English and 12 other regional languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telegu, Bengali, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Assamese, Oriya, Punjabi and Gujrati. The home video market in India is still skewed towards VCDs and so a large part of our inventory are VCDs. Approximately 30% of the titles are available in the DVD format. Currently we have a subscriber base of over 16,000 subscribers across Bangalore, Delhi & Mumbai. Our target is to reach 50,000 members by the end of 2007 across the top 10 cities in India. This has so far been a largely unorganized market and we are the largest player in the organized sector, both in terms of content and number of members. We are no doubt the market leaders by far.

2. We have spoken to Madhouse and other DVD rental companies that have plans of making the service available via phone, local shops, etc. What is Seventymm doing to address the needs of customers who do not have access to Internet?

We have tried to make the online process very simple, as simple as using e-mail. However those who are not familiar with the internet have the option of ordering DVDs either by calling our customer care even by sending a sms.

3. There are these often quoted issues around logistics of delivery, cheaper rates at local shops due to piracy etc. How does Seventymm deal with this?

Seventymm has set-up an efficient logistics infrastructure to support the service offering. We have an army of 125 delivery boys across to support the demand. Consumers are getting sensitized to the issue of piracy; one of the key reasons for accessing pirated copies was the lack of a credible option. However now they have a choice in players like Seventymm who are not only credible but also capable of catering to the needs of consumers in terms of choice and convenience.

4. Seventymm has this referral program where you get 1/6th of your rent off for every new customer you bring. How useful has been the referral program so far? Is this going to continue forever?

In India movies are a religion and people not only love to watch movies but also talk about them. Our referral program provides an opportunity to our members to talk about a service like ours to their friends and relatives. This not only helps in brand proliferation but also sign ups. Our referral program has been very useful in meeting these objectives and we wish to continue the same as a brand strategy.

5. Any potential threats from Moser Baer (they recently announced selling Hindi DVD’s at less than Rs. 40, which is less than the cost of the rental)

The entry of Moser Baer and low priced CDs & DVDs is a positive sign as the movie consumption will grow and so will the overall market for home video. However we do not perceive it as a threat at all because consumers may not like to buy all content even if they come very cheap. Consumers still buy content which they want to treasure or share, but predominantly rent.

6. What innovations, new services are we going to see in the future from Seventymm?
We will be present in 10 cities across India very shortly. In the next few years the speed of broadband will go up to one megabit per second. Once that happens we will start distributing movies digitally.

7. Anything else you would like to add for our readers?
We would like to welcome your associates and readers to try our service and have a special offer for them. We wish to discuss this with the concerned person in your team to execute the offer at the earliest. Please find the discount code below.

The special offer that iLeher readers & members can avail includes a complete refundable of the registration fees i.e. Rs 499 along with one month free trial on the basic membership.They can avail this offer by using the following the steps mentioned below.

Step 1: Log onto www.seventymm.com
Step 2: login new user
Step 3: Register yourself there, fill the Promotional code: LEHER70 on the first sheet.
Step 4:Pay the refundable security deposit either by credit card or fill in the option of cheque/cash for them to get in touch.
Step 5: Make a que of the movies you want to see and enjoy!!

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Entry Filed under: bigflicks,DVD rental,madhouse,online rental,seventymm,Venture capital

6 Responses

  1. 1. IndianPad said on April 22nd, 2007 at 7:14 am

    Interview with CEO of Seventymm (Special discount code included for dvd rentals)…

    Interview with CEO of Seventymm (Special discount code included for dvd rentals) posted at IndianPad.com…

  2. 2. Big V said on April 22nd, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Interesting. I’d have expected a larger subscriber base by now – although 16,000 isn’t that bad. I wonder what their churn rate is… Netflix is estimated to be about 4% / month. The market seems big enough, I suppose it can accomodate more than 1. See my post on herd mentality –
    http://v-slog.blogspot.com/2007/04/is-herd-mentality-really-bad.html

  3. 3. vijay kurhade said on April 23rd, 2007 at 4:55 am

    Netflix indian adaptation Seventymm, madhouse are interesting.

    There real threat will come from MoserBaer and Production houses who will start selling recordable dvds for 30 rs and there will be n no of pawn shops buring popular movied for 5-10 bucks. So u get to own a dvd for 40/50 rs, this is real big threat other than piracy.

  4. 4. Chandra said on April 24th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    Interesting…
    I have following thoughts to share.
    1. The real competition is from the DVD sales. Personally I prefer to own a DVD if I am getting it for 20 to 30Rs.
    2. The unlimited DVDs may be the good option but the cost is a bit high.
    3. As mentioned, Digital distribution through Internet would be a good Idea in the long term.
    4. How about streaming movies to mobiles? I think its a good option, though I am not aware of the technical limitations. but can you think of someone who may not want to watch his favorite movie on his mobile when traveling alone?
    5. Finally, I feel the site needs some redesigning and giving it a clean web 2.0 look makes the user experience more engaging. The website is the only way you can attract more customers at the first point, customer service, delivery time etc… will come after the user signs up. As there are few other sites doing the same business, the site which is more easy to use will get an edge. Of course its my personal thought and I am not saying that current site is not good, but it may be improved to make it more accessible and usable.

  5. 5. Roshan said on May 19th, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Cool observations. Here are a few of my own:

    wrt to Raghav Kher’s comments:
    1. The catalogue seems ‘awesome’, but what is the demand for ageing, poor quality back catalogue? The home video revolution has just begun and titles released even 2 years ago are far inferior to the product being release today with special features (Eg. Don – the new one). Most people (as much as 90%) ask for ‘New Releases’.
    2. There is a very definite need to acclimatise the offering to the target audience (not everything American works here) and a lot more needs to be done here. A case in point- Clixflix.com – the pioneer in the local place have already merged 4 models to offer a more comprehensive, robust and holistic offering for the local market place- online, dial a movie, sms a movie and stores.
    3. The referral program might work for a business opportunity, eg Amway, and even then most us break into an allergy thinking of the cat and mouse process – but for movies and your relaxation – how do you tell your friend ‘pls sign up, pay and i’ll relax ‘free’ at your cost’

    wrt to other comments and generally speaking:

    1. Moser Baer plans to retail DVDs and VCDs cheap. The old adage goes “chuck peanuts and you get monkeys” What remains to be seen is the catalgue that is made available. Besides from a retailing perspective – when you release 7000 discs valued at an avg px of Rs 35, what margin do you pass on to the retailer to make the shelf space for that product viable.
    2. Downloads are an interesting development – but mbps connection speeds are still a bit off for the masses. For DVD like quality rendition, connection speeds need to be upward of 3 mbps. Besides the DVD format has got an extension of life with Blue Ray and HD. Lets not forget Blue Ray (owned by Sony) also owns close to 40% of Hollywood content.

  6. 6. suraj said on February 26th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    will be interesting to see the how they react with Moser bear suit. was talking to a dear friend (who is a investor with seventymm) and he is already feeling cheated and wants to get oot.

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