The Indian Film Company in association with Studio 18 and YouTube have signed a deal to premiere the first ever Bollywood release, day and date with its Indian theatrical release on Friday 5th February.
This historical milestone, which marks Bollywood’s first major embrasure of the online medium as a crucial revenue generator, will also pave the way for other Indian film companies to look outside of a conventional theatrical release towards alternate modes of distribution. By releasing this film on YouTube, Studio18 will offer Bollywood fans outside of India a high quality and on demand option for watching the latest Bollywood film.
In the US, ‘Striker’ will be available for rent on YouTube. Outside the US, ‘Striker’ will be available for free on Studio18’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/studio18.
In order to ensure that the revenues from the Indian theatrical release are maximised, the movie will be not be available for the YouTube traffic originating from India.
Commented Sandeep Bhargava, CEO of the advisor company to The Indian Film Company (Cyprus) Ltd. In India, “Striker’s premiere on YouTube is yet another feather in our cap as YouTube is the world�۪s most popular online video community. We are excited about this association as this will help us reach out to our audience in a focused manner and a very cost-effective way.”
Amit Agrawal, Head of You Tube Partnerships, Google India, said, “Our goal at YouTube is to create a comprehensive destination for online video with a range of content, from-user-generated clips to full-length shows and movies. We’re particularly excited to have the premiere of Striker on YouTube and available to Bollywood fans around the world on YouTube.”
Recognising the importance of penetrating into the online space, the producers intend to offer their forthcoming titles for a YouTube premiere as well. Hemant Bhardwaj, SVP – International Business, Studio18, said, “This is a redefining moment. The success of this project will put wings to our films, which are rich in content but unable to find optimal distribution abroad because they don’t feature the conventional stars.”
Striker top-lines Telugu superstar Siddharth Narayan (of Rang De Basanti fame) with Anupam Kher, Aditya Panscholi, Vidya Malavade and others.
Earlier this month, the Indian Premier League also announced it was forming an alliance with YouTube to broadcast the upcoming series live on their YouTube channel.