By Espie Angelica A. de Leon
Missed out on any local flick which turned out to be a blockbuster, an award winner, or both? Now you have the chance to watch the movie anytime you want, anywhere you are in the Philippines. And you don’t even have to shell out anything from your pocket to experience such viewing pleasure.
Five months after it started in Google Play in October 2016, the digital video-on-demand platform MovieClub was officially launched at the Commune Café + Bar in Makati City on March 22.
The Android app aims to make Filipino movies more accessible to the public by streaming these for free, thus eliminating the need for subscriptions, rentals, downloading, and borrowing. These films include the classics film masterpieces from a few decades ago.
MovieClub also supports local filmmakers including the small, independent industry players who are affected by poor revenues from local screenings, DVD purchases and rentals, and diminishing TV and cable rights.
“We have around 570-580 movies and music. Every two weeks, we add around 15-20 movies into our collection,” said Geoffrey Chen, one of the creators of MovieClub. “Of course we plan to get all the indies and get them out there. We want to build the local industry,” he added.
The movies in the selection are grouped into different categories such as Most Viewed, Top Rated, and Comedy, among others. All are 100% legal and licensed.
Now embedded in 2.3 million smartphone devices, the app is also beginning to add new materials into its curated content namely, more music videos, TV series, news, and sports.
Aside from making their movies reach more audiences without navigating the rocky path toward film exhibition and release, the app likewise provides moviemakers with a more cost-effective advertising medium for their films using specific demographics and user behavior. In particular, MovieClub allows the advertiser to pay only when the ad is viewed 100 percent.
Overall, the app offers low minimum spends, low cost per views, high degree of measurability, and a large concentrated user base.
According to Chen, young Filipinos whose age average is 23, use their smartphones upon waking up, while working, eating, shopping, and engaging in outdoor activities. They rarely watch on television, laptops, and computers anymore. Instead, usage of mobile devices is increasing rapidly, registering double-digit spikes each year.
Mobile devices, therefore, are seen to be the primary source for information and major channel for advertising in the coming years.
Currently in the pipeline are MovieClub’s iOS and Web versions as well as plans to produce its own local, original content.