Thursday, March 11, 2010

Death of the Big Flix[In Chennai]

Big Flix - Cousin Brother of Netflix in India. Their rental arm had shops at major places in Chennai. They for sure had one of the largest collections(almost) across all languages in all genres. The quality of the DVD's were good.The service from staff was excellent. The staff were terrific sales guys in all aspects.You could take any number of movies during your subscription period. No late fees. You could queue up your movies. Book movies in advance. Check out videos at any shop, check in videos at any shop.Free home delivery. Availability of movies, as soon as original DVD's were available.

I don't think a customer could ask any more than this for the price being paid.

The only thing i felt not favorable to customer was, you cannot opt to stop in middle of your subscription period and get your due money back. [Say you paid for six months subscription and after three months you want to close it. you can't]. Rather, you could pause your subscription period just by the phone call and can continue it later.

Inspite of the best service and great features,they have closed shop in chennai.Yes all shops are winding down their operations.[I am not sure about the status in other cities and was not able to google any news] From now on only online queueing and home delivery will be available. The worst thing is they did not bother to offer an option to bail out for customers with a refund for those who wanted to stop the subscription.

Does this means the video rentals is not viable or feasible? Is it a business meant for doom? Is it because the profit margins were not good enough for Reliance?Was it the business model of unlimited videos rather than the pay per video model that is usually practiced in all other video rental shops? Is it because of piracy? Is it because of Internet?Is it because of "ATTITUDE" of our people?

For sure there are rental video shops still operating in chennai. English movies are far more easily available on Internet via torrents. The Internet speed too is too high in US. Still NetFlix survives in US. I would also very strongly say it is not the ATTITUDE of our people. Even our people, who have used the service of BigFlix once will stay loyal to it and even recommend to others,inspite of easy access to pirated versions.

Probably, one reason was their collection of videos in regional language, Tamil did not meet the expectations of people. Moserbaer had(has) rights and many movies available on moser baer were not available for rental.

Above all, most importantly, I would attribute to their downfall is "Failure of Marketing" and nothing else.


RamMmm said...

tch tch :-(

Something that you liked and used is no more there.

Any alternatives on a similar or slightly lesser scale?

I dunno if their subscription base was wide enough for a decent RoI or break-even in a short time.

True, maybe BigFlix was never marketed enough. I knew of it only through word of mouth.

zeno said...

Yep. No alternatives our usual fall back option ;) I think they were for a very long time. marketing is the whole crux, i did not know it existed for a very long time. even after i know the shop, i dint know what exactly they were doing. too bad i knew abt netflix bt not abt big flix :(