BookMyShow is changing. From a pure-play transactional platform with the main focus on ticketing for outdoor events, the Mumbai-headquartered start-up is foraying into online shows and events, direct-to-home.
No marks for guessing why. It’s COVID-19. “We have historically been the discovery platform of choice for all forms of outdoor entertainment. With COVID-19, people are forced to stay at their home and we are designing the app to bring entertainment straight to the consumers,” said Albert Almeida, Chief Operating Officer – Live Entertainment at BookMyShow.
BookMyShow has already hosted around 750 live shows on its app over the last three months, and now around 100 events are being added every day. Workshops, upskilling courses, motivational talks, full plays, comedy shows and even monologues feature in them. With almost 70% events being paid ones, this is set to be become a major revenue churner for the start-up in a post-COVID world, he added.
For BookMyShow, global crises are not something new. The company has already weathered the dotcom bubble in 2002 and the global recession in 2008-09. The start-up is confident of pulling through the COVID-19 pandemic as well. BookMyShow was founded by Ashish Hemrajani, Parikshit Dar and Rajesh Balpande in 1999.
“We have always kept the consumer to be at centre, and that has helped us survive the previous downturns. Our push for at-home entertainment through the app is also is in line with keeping consumer interest in mind,” he said.
Before COVID-19, it was getting around 200 million monthly active users on the app, and had spread out to more than 650 locations. Leveraging this reach and user base, the platform has already recorded 4 million viewers for the live shows in the first four weeks of the launch.
“We are using this window and the streaming product to prepare for a post-COVID world. The initial results will help us learn more about what kind of shows work, what is the best price point and others,” he said.
One feature on BookMyShow was pushing mainly during the pre-COVID days was adjacent business opportunities like take-away options with movie tickets. Now with entertainment going remote, Almeida said that they are looking for adjacent opportunities like delivering merchandise or offering home delivery of food & beverages as well. But he knows “these are still early days and the situation will have to further settle down.”