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Producers minting money on digital rights

Producers minting money on digital rights
Highlights

Tollywood producers are laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to digital platforms like  Amazon Prime, Netflix and Sunnext who are procuring big-ticket Telugu films left, right and centre.

Tollywood producers are laughing all the way to the bank, thanks to digital platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Sunnext who are procuring big-ticket Telugu films left, right and centre.

Needless to say, leading producers are pocketing huge sums for digital rights. Earlier, digital rights were sold along with satellite rights and which counted Rs 25 to 30 lakh, but path-braeking film `Ghazi’ set a new benchmark since it was reportedly bought for Rs. 10. 5 crore by Amazon Prime.

According to industry sources, popular films like `Mister’, `Krishnagadi Prema Gadha’, `Soggade Chinninayana’ and `Sarrainodu’ were reportedly bought by Sunnext and Netflix for anywhere between Rs 6 to 8 crore and giving a fillip to Telugu producers.

“Star-studded Telugu films have pinched the pockets of some producers, but digital rights have come in as a big relief and helping producers to offset some losses. With no sign of budgets of Telugu films coming down, any new source of income will ease the pressure on producer” says producer Bogavalli Prasad.

Interestingly, some films like `Ghazi,’ `Krishnagadi.. and Soggade...’ minted big money at the box-office. “In that case it’s double bonanza for producers, because Rs 5 to 6 crore is not a small amount considering the limited exposure for Telugu films, world over,” adds another producer Kumar Choudury.

The source adds that Amazon Prime, Netflix charge anywhere between Rs 999 to Rs 499 from each customer per annum and allow him to watch as many films as possible so it’s a win-win situation for both the customer and digital platform.

“It’s a new-age platform since young viewers prefer to watch movies on their laptops and even on mobiles, since they are starved of time. Of course, the craze for watching a film in a theatre, has its own charm and visual experience, but digital platform is the future and it is bound to expand and attract more eyeballs in the days to come,’ says producer Kiran Reddy.

With budgets of Telugu films going on a tailspin, due to some inexperienced producers, any kind of new income is welcome and counted. “Satellitte rights have reached a saturation point, so digital platform is new window opened for Telugu producers to make some money.

With stars and directors, unwilling to take a pay cut, the producers have to look for new sources of income, to recover their huge investments. But if superstars and directors hike their remuneration citing this income, then it would push the industry into doldrums,” cautions producer N Padmini.

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