BookMyShow COO Ashish Saksena hopes for business to grow back in India

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After a long period of time, the government has allowed the reopening of cinemas and theatres on October 15. And after this announcement, various SOPs were issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to ensure proper hygiene and safety of all the people who will come to watch films as well as the employees of the theatres. And after that, all the cinema operators and also one of the biggest ticket aggregator BookMyShow gained sigh of relief.

But even after issuing SOPs and reopening cinemas, one question is still there in the mind of people that is whether the hall will be safe for them or not? For this BookMyShow has come up with a new feature for their app and website that is the ‘Safety First’ feature. Ashish Saksena, COO, BookMyShow, said, “The new feature is a ‘safety shield tag’, which informs the audience of various levels of safety and hygiene measures implemented across different cinemas that are listed on BookMyShow.”

This feature of BookMyShow was launched on 13 October and if we see this feature in detail then we can find out that this feature of BookMyShow will inform the people who are looking forward to cinemas that what will be the distance between each seat, the thermal screening will be there or not, the security check will be contactless or not, will the hand sanitizers be available or not, the temperature of staff members of the cinema has been checked on a regular basis or not, and many other things that will gain the confidence of the people.

“We have been working hard for this day to come. We understand that the foremost question on everyone’s mind is ‘how safe will it be to visit a cinema hall again’. When you enter the app, you pick the film you want to view, and then you can see which cinemas are adhering to the various prescribed safety measures. This is a step to empower the audience to make a judicious call to watch a particular film. One might see additional measures being taken by some theatres to go the extra mile,” said Ashish Saksena, COO, BookMyShow. “In the new feature, we also have a dedicated space for cinemas that wish to highlight some of their extra measures through videos and pictures. We think this feature can help people decide better, and make them come back to theatres,” adds Ashish Saksena, COO, BookMyShow.

Various other statements that were said by Ashish Saksena, COO, BookMyShow were “There are no figures to share, as there is absolutely no business. Whatever titles released, they were in the OTT space, and that was just an attempt to capitalize on the situation at hand. The business will come back. I think the moment big films like Tenet start showing, we will attract the requisite audiences and they will adapt to this new way of experiencing cinema. Unlike the US, in India, cinemas account for almost 65 percent revenue of a film. There is a reason producers and filmmakers are waiting to release their films. Film viewing is a big business in India. Right now, we can just wait. I am sure the big releases by the end of the year will bring the crowds back. In India, theatrical revenue is not going anywhere.”

Right around twenty years old, BookMyShow is ostensibly one of India’s greatest ticket aggregators — for films, plays, stand-up satire gigs, and melodic shows. During the lockdown, the endeavor likewise began streaming live shows from different craftsmen on its worldwide streaming stage. At first, the contribution was free, yet later it changed to a tagged variant. Saksena takes note of that the conjunction of disconnected and internet survey will proceed in the new world request. “Our experiences have shown that they will coexist peacefully. Our streaming venture started within a few days of the lockdown more as an effort to recognize that there was something for the users of BookMyShow. The way the business has grown, almost 70 percent of these events are now ticketed. We have been able to curate some special things, which we have been able to monetize. Something that started as a small gesture has become a significant contributor to our business. Even when out-of-home entertainment picks up, this is here to stay,” concludes Ashish Saksena, COO, BookMyShow.