Bengaluru gets its first mini-theatre for Netflix, Amazon Prime VideoVallabh Rao
Located in the Girinagar neighbourhood of South Bengaluru, TERIFLIX hopes to capitalise on the growth of digital streaming in India, as well as provide a venue for indie filmmakers.
At a glance
Founders: Prashanth and Praveen Udupa
Year it was founded: 2017
Where is it based: Bengaluru
The problem it solves: Mini-theatre to watch content from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Why should you limit yourself to watching your favourite show on Netflix or Amazon Prime on your laptop, mobile, or home theatre system? TERIFLIX, situated in Girinagar in South Bengaluru, offers an aesthetically designed, acoustically captivating 13-seater AC auditorium, with large 135- inch screen, full HD projection and 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos sound system, that you can rent on an hourly basis.
Customers can watch movies and TV shows from their Netflix or Amazon Prime Video on the big screen, using TERIFLIX’s 100 Mbps Internet connection. And the best part? You can get your own food and popcorn! TERIFLIX can be rented is Rs 1,299 per hour, for up to 18 people.
TERIFLIX is a play on words “terrific” and “flix” (as in film). Brothers and movie buffs Prashanth and Praveen Udupa are the founders of TERIFLIX.
Faced with subdued real estate market after demonetisation, Praveen and Prashant decided to use their father’s property in Girinagar to build a private movie screening theatre, something they had been talking about for a while.
To make sure that their space gives the best possible experience to their customers, they hired an award-winning company that they met at the What Hi-Fi? in the 2016 Bengaluru trade-show, to build TERIFLIX. They have used amplifiers, speaker systems, acoustic materials and DLP projectors to ensure good picture quality and the experience of Dolby Atmos Sound. The seating materials, placement and colour themes were handpicked by the founders to ensure that the place comes off as both professional and personal at the same time.
The streaming media devices they provide lets customers login to their own Netflix account and also allow the playback of full HD, Dolby Digital+ and Dolby Atmos content.
While there are several auditoriums and film screening venues in Bengaluru, TERIFLIX is unique in offering a small space. Auditoriums such as Suchitra Film Society, Renukamba and SRV have the capacity for more than 80 people and they allow private screening of movies mostly to filmmakers. They also do not provide the option of watching shows from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video subscriptions. While some bars and restaurants offer this as an add-on, they don’t have a dedicated space for the same.
TERIFLIX’s second offering caters to independent filmmakers who can play their copyrighted work on a large screen in a movie theatre like setting. Filmmakers can rent TERIFLIX for screening their mini, short or feature films. The team says they don’t allow pirated content into TERIFLIX, nor will they allow your content to be pirated. TERIFLIX is also building a repository of copyrighted movies from filmmakers which consumers will be able to watch.
Operating such an unconventional venture would mean Praveen and Prashant will have to keep in mind the regulations around subscription services. Legally, TERIFLIX cannot let customers use third-party personal accounts with content providers, because all such accounts are for personal, non-commercial use only. However, it is perfectly legal for you to use your own streaming media accounts to watch content at TERIFLIX. When one arrives at the venue, they can login to their Netflix or Amazon Prime Video account on the equipment at the hall and screen any content of their choice. Besides, one can rewind, forward, pause, adjust volume, and even change subtitles.
“We are trying to alter customers’ buying behaviour from one of ‘buying tickets’ to that of ‘renting a theatre’. We are creating this whole new market. This will obviously take time. The response has been truly heartening, and in fact, better than expected. We have had enough revenue to cover our operating expenses comfortably. We have had people renting TERIFLIX for celebrating birthdays, corporate team outings, get-together of friends, family get-togethers and so on,” say Praveen and Prashant on how the response has been so far since the launch in September 2017.
TERIFLIX has had about 45 screenings thus far, an average of about three screenings a week, and close to a 1,000 people have visited the theatre since the launch date. The team has started working on adding more TERIFLIX locations across Bengaluru. They are working on both franchise and affiliate models to help them expand quickly.
While the founders are open to offer the space for viewing other subscription-based services, they have found that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer the best streaming quality and compatibility with the HD projection systems they have at TERIFLIX. They intend to open up access to more streaming media providers based on customer feedback, if such providers are able to fully leverage Dolby Atmos sound and the Full HD projection systems that TERIFLIX provides.
In a report released in July 2017, Media Partners Asia projected the Indian online video industry to grow to $1.6 billion by 2022, with a CAGR of 35 percent. With fan following for online-only shows and movies rivalling that of “mainstream” movies and shows, spaces like TERIFLIX are all set to play a role in the media consumption industry.