Reliance Entertainment Heads South

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Commits Rs. 100 crore towards digital and content marketing, says COO Sarkar

Reliance Entertainment on Tuesday today announced a joint venture with Y Not Studios and AP International for production of movies, marking its entry into film production in the south.

“This relationship will allow Reliance Entertainment to make its presence felt strongly in the vibrant South film market, with the production of high-quality content,” said Shibasish Sarkar, COO, Reliance Entertainment.

Y Not Studios, founded by S. Sasikanth has produced 12 feature films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Hindi, including Vikram Vedha in 2017, which featured as the number one Indian Film of 2017 on IMDb, ahead of even a gigantic blockbuster like Bahubaali 2. In 2016, Y Not Studios produced a bilingual film — Sudha Kongara’sIrudhi Suttru in Tamil and Saala Khadoos in Hindi in association with Raju Hirani. The partnership follows on the heels of Reliance Entertainment’s joint ventures in the Hindi film industry with Rohit Shetty Picturez, Plan C Studios (with Neeraj Pandey) and Phantom Films (with Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Vikramaditya Motwane and Madhu Mantena).

Reliance Entertainment would also be investing Rs. 100 crore in digital entertainment, said a top executive.

‘Investments for scale’

“We will be investing about Rs. 50 crore each in digital content and marketing,” said Mr. Sarkar. “We might start with Rs. 30 crores and go up to Rs. 50 crore.” The flagship motion picture arm of the Reliance group would mainly focus on film content, gaming and digital. Last fiscal, it earned a revenue of Rs. 1,400 crore and aims to end the current fiscal at Rs. 2,000 crores.

Indicating that the firm had to invest significantly to attain a certain scale, Mr. Sarkar said currently it had 3.9 million registered users for Bigflix, which offers HD movies, followed by three million active users for Chillx, which offers digital entertainment videos and short films in 10 regional languages.

It has also recorded 300 million downloads of its mobile games.

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