Empty arenas, canceled shows, no films, as the Coronavirus pandemic hit India; the offline entertainment industry took a tumble. Among the principal industry to be hit by the outbreak, out-of-home (OOH) entertainment is expected to be the last to revive. Among this category, the top one is the most popular entertainment ticket booking service – BookMyShow’s Co-founder and Director Parikshit Dar. Established in August 1999, the Big tree Entertainment-possessed application offers showtimes, film tickets, reviews, trailers, and events to its clients.
From selling 23-24 million tickets toward the start of the year (2020) to the number dropping down to zero, Dar says BookMyShow’s center business was hit hard when the lockdown was declared. “We all have a better understanding of how dangerously the economy has been hit by the deadly Coronavirus, and particularly us, as our entire business was around shoppers venturing out of their homes for entertainment”.
Dar, who’s been with the organization since its seeds were planted 21 years back, says he is today in the period of building up an online entertainment market in the nation. While trying to do the same, the brand launched ‘BookMyShow Online’ not long ago. The online streaming platform, accessible over BookMyShow’s application and web stage, was beta-tested in June. It has a large group of virtual live entertainment contributions – music, components of theatre, stand-up comedy sessions, e-sports, food, family entertainment, wellness and environment conservation, which could be experienced from the security of one’s home.
Dar says that the thought for the online live entertainment platform was on the whiteboard for as long as one year, however, it was fuelled simply after the brand lost more than 50 percent of its traffic in recent months. “We were considering increasing live events, particularly the restricted ones with certain geographical limitations, by steaming them for all intents and purposes. The plans were in pipeline, yet we began expanding on it after March this year.”
To start with that, the Mumbai-based brand began by doing ‘free’’ events. It associates with content makers, who needed to engage with their crowd, and gave them the stage to interface with them. The free-to-view events – theatre, singing, open mics, and workshops – were live on online networking platforms, such as Face book, Instagram, and YouTube.