With just two movies a day, MUBI is trying not to overwhelm Indian cinephiles
India is a poster child for internet adoption, and over-the-top (OTT) platforms are banking on that.
There was a time when a couple of large platforms enjoyed a near-monopoly over the Indian OTT market. But now, as the number of internet users have increased, so have these content offerings. The latest international player to join this universe is MUBI, a London-based curated streaming service founded in 2007.
With an India-specific channel and subscription plan, MUBI’s launch on Nov. 16, could possibly herald a change in viewing habits among OTT viewers in the country. Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, EROS Now, and Hotstar that offer an ever-increasing collection of films and TV series, MUBI handpicks films and puts up one recommendation a day. “We make our films available on MUBI in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or frustrate people,” Efe Cakarel, founder and CEO of MUBI, told Quartz India.
Other than the curated list of films, the genre of films available on MUBI also sets it apart from other OTT platforms. The films on the platform are generally arthouse cinema, documentaries, or short films, that are guided by the local culture of the country that cinema represents. Rarely do mainstream feature films, especially in terms of the most direct understanding of Bollywood, appear on the list of MUBI’s curation. The only exception in the Indian context is perhaps Andaz Apna Apna, which is a cult unto itself.
In a unique partnership with PVR Cinemas, MUBI also announced the MUBI GO programme on Nov. 27. Under this, MUBI subscribers will be able to redeem one ticket for a “film of the week” at any PVR hall that is screening it. This could be an interesting game-changer, especially in terms of bringing more audiences to watch films that often go unnoticed. MUBI is currently available for Rs199 for the first three months, and Rs499 per month subsequently.