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India To Finally Have Arthouse Cinema Streamer 'Mubi' Set for Launch

The London-based streamer is entering the wide market that India is.


Courtesy : The Hollywood Reporter

Given the fact that even the streaming services are currently available in abundance and in fact, one is spoilt for choices, it may not be the smartest idea to launch a new streamer even though the market in India is probably the most attractive prospect.

But this makes sense and sounds perfect if your streaming service stands out from all the other already-available giants in the market. That is what Mubi is planning to do. The London-based streaming service is all set to finally launch in India and will be home to what it bills itself as a “hand-curated” cinema service offering a select 30 titles per month covering world cinema, arthouse, film classics, and other prestige genres, is set for its India launch.

Speaking at a session at the Mumbai Film Festival Friday, Mubi CEO Efe Cakarel said the service will bow in India in the next couple of weeks and will also include a specially curated Indian channel. Like its international channel, the Indian channel will also offer 30 titles per month where each day, a new film is added, while the oldest one is removed.

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter as to how much the service will cost, Cakarel said that for now, Mubi is already available as an international service at $7 (499 Rs) per month. But he added that a final India price "is still to be confirmed which we will announce soon." Given that the Indian market is already dominated by majors like Netflix, Amazon and Disney's Hotstar, Cakarel added, "We are not in a price war against Amazon or others as we offer a completely different experience which has a significant cost."

Netflix's starting monthly plan costs about $7 and the streamer also recently launched a mobile-only subscription plan at $2.8 (199 Rs) per month. Amazon and Hotstar both offer annual plans at $14 (999 Rs).

Taking a leaf from leading Indian telecom player Reliance Jio, which launched its mobile services at rock bottom prices over two years ago, Cakarel said, "We will also offer introductory prices which is something we learned from Reliance Jio."

At last year's Mumbai festival, Mubi had first shared its India plans after the company pacted with Times Bridge, the investment arm of one of India's leading media companies, the Times Group. In January 2018, Times Bridge took an unspecified ownership stake in Mubi.

Returning to the festival this year, some Mubi titles are also part of the program. These include Staggering Girl, a short film by Luca Guadagnino who directed Suspiria which was streamed on the service and also released in cinemas in the U.K.

Also featured is Mubi's debut production Port Authority from first-time director Danielle Lessovitz which screened at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section.

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