Radhe - PVOD Proves To Be A Damp Squib
Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai had a PVOD (Premium Video On Demand) released in India a couple of weeks back and the monetizing model proved to be a damp squib. This was not unexpected as the the way the film was priced up after it was certain there was no theatrical release pretty much showed that Zee was not actually expecting much.
The film fetched 180 crore for all rights and this price included all rights for two other films (Kaagaz and Antim - The Final Truth). If we add the promotion costs then the acquisition goes to the 185-190 crore range. The SVOD (Streaming Video On Demand) and Satellite rights were at 150 crore for the three films. This meant the rest was left for PVOD, Overseas theatrical, music and miscellaneous which is not much the cover.
The PVOD release saw Radhe cover around 10-12 crore in the first week and this included the audience who subscribed for the film and those who also subscribed for the Zee platform at lower costs. Most of the audience for the film came from premium subscribers who had the platform. With 10-12 crore covered in one week the lifetime would be around 15 crore which is under 30 crore nett if we look at it in box office terms.
The returns from PVOD are a disaster if we look at from the point of recovery for a major film though what is good or bad from a new revenue model like this is an unknown until more films are there to compare though hopefully there will not be many big films which go this way as there is no recovery. If a smaller film goes this way and gets 15 crore it may not be too bad but the question there is can a smaller film actually do it and the the probable answer is no.
Radhe - Your Most Wanted Bhai will get a recovery of 35-40 crore from PVOD, Overseas theatrical and music which will take it to 185-190 crore and there will be a little from Antim to come with music possibly adding most. Kaagaz recovery is negligible from all sources. But again the problem here is the 150 crore from SVOD and satellite which has been shifted to sister companies like Zee5 and Zee TV which is just on paper and not actual recovery. The film may well cover 50 crore from satellite but the 100 crore value for SVOD is just a value and there is no chance of that sort of recovery from Zee5.
The plus is that it will push the Zee5 subscriber base up by around 30-40% but this is also because it has a far lower base than the likes of Hotstar and Amazon. The agressive push that Zee are doing with first Radhe and now also RRR on SVOD for a huge price and rumours more to come seems to be to challenge the three main platforms (Hotstar, Amazon and Netflix) in India. But it is a long way off with Hotstar closing on in 2 crore paid subscribers and Amazon at 1 crore plus. The release of Radhe on SVOD may take Zee to around the 50 lakh mark and continued heavy investments will take them further but eventually there will be a plateau.
The PVOD monetization model is a debacle as proved by Radhe but as long as the producers are getting the money there may well be a few others who will go this way while the the covid19 situation remains as for them it does not matter how much the recovery is from PVOD or SVOD or anything else. For producers it releases the money stuck due to no theatres not being open.