Bollywood Embraces Online Movie Marketing

With the burgeoning growth on India’s online population, Bollywood movie marketers are ramping up their online marketing efforts, according to The Hindu Business Line.

According to the article, over 38.5 million Indians have Internet access, and although broadband penetration is in its early stages, over 1.5 million homes already have high-speed access. There are also an estimated 20 million Indians living abroad who are interested in keeping up with the latest Bollywood productions.

Indian film marketers have noted that young, tech-oriented professionals with disposable income are highly likely to use the web to discover movies to see in theaters:

Says Rajnish R., Head - Digital Marketing Revenue and Strategic Business, MSN India: "People who use the Internet are twice likely to go watch movies in multiplexes (than those who do not). Indians abroad go online to read movie reviews before they book a ticket or buy the DVD. So, the adoption of online media is attractive to new-age producers, who themselves are Net-savvy."

Online promotions on large portals such as MSN India typically cost between 800,000 and one million rupees ($17-25K dollars). Promotions on Indiafm, Bollywood's #1 movie portal vary from 50,000 to 1.2 million rupees ($1100 -$26,100) depending on the targeted regions and audience.

Individual film sites are also become more common, and traffic has been booming – Hungama, a top online promotions company for Bollywood, noted that some of their larger sites attract up to 12 million page views a month. Online interactive contests are also becoming popular, and are now sporting major corporate sponsors.

The migration to more sophisticated online marketing methods mirror’s Bollywood’s increasing marketing savvy in other channels. Recent calls for more integrated marketing have increased lately, even culminating in top talent calling for the emulation of Hollywood-style marketing.

The Indian film industry sold more than 3.8 billion tickets in 2005, grossing over $1.14 billion dollars, according to a recent article on Bloomberg. By comparison, Hollywood grossed nearly $9 billion dollars during the same calendar year.

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