How regularly have you ever waited at the airport, wishing you did no longer ought to burn away at your internet information to kill time and entertain yourself? Or even at some point of the flight, hoping you had something else to do except dozing and ingesting. Or have persevered those hours of teach and bus trips, wherein your solace turned into both a e-book or food or sleep. But as they are saying, “What we are awaiting is not as crucial as what happens to us whilst we're ready.” It turned into during one in every of such teach trips from Hyderabad to Mumbai, Karthik Poddar and Kartik Bansal concept of building something which could deliver in video entertainment right to the person’s tool and clear up the pain factor of ready.
Thus became born the idea of Fropcorn, a hyper-local content material distribution challenge centered on journey entertainment. Or to actually put, a video on demand answer for the loads on the go, that is unbiased of net connectivity. Because the duo were clean that given the high priced facts plans available and the patchy 3G connectivity, the answer had to be honestly impartial of net connectivity. To check the concept, Fropcorn supplied tablets with pre-loaded content material to commuters for a rent of INR 100 in December 2014 at the Hyderabad airport. The commuters should watch the content at the flight and then drop it off on the vacation spot airport. While three out of 10 human beings wanted the tablet, the rest asked them why not load the content material to their very own devices and store them the trouble of carrying the tablet.
Hence, Fropcorn went forward with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, allowing customers to get right of entry to content material without internet/statistics connectivity through its generation, powered by means of content material offers with leading manufacturing houses and strategic partnerships with airports, railways, healthcare and hospitality chains. By deploying its region-caching generation at travel locations like buses, airports and waiting zones, Fropcorn users can watch a wide range of Movies and TV Shows on their Wi-Fi-enabled tool with out the want for any net / 3G connections. With over 3000 hours of content material in its library, Fropcorn works with main content studios and brings world magnificence leisure to human beings on the cross.
Today, it's far launching its offerings at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) Hyderabad, making it a first-in-Asia where an airport will offer its customers on-demand amusement. Fropcorn’s enjoyment-on-call for provider will allow passengers to down load a movie of their choice inside 3 mins and watch it at the flight. Flyers could be able to select from over two hundred HD quality films and may download the whole film in much less than 3 minutes on advanced-grade Wi-Fi servers set up at the airport. The enjoyment WiFi hotspot is currently available on the Security Hold Area of the Domestic Terminal, which shall soon be prolonged to other parts of the airport.
Commenting at the launch of this carrier, SGK Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited( GHIAL), stated,
At GHIAL, we attempt to offer our flyers a strain unfastened and fun adventure revel in. We recognize entertainment is a brilliant way to keep them engaged on the flight journey as they've restrained or no leisure options. With Fropcorn amusement hotspot, we now increase the GHIAL experience even beyond the airport premises and make certain our flyers have a superb time during the journey. We assume this to be a wow enjoy for each the flyers and the airlines and shall similarly increase Hyderabad airport’s repute as a preferred Gateway for South & Central India.
Founders Kartik Poddar (CEO) and Kartik Bansal (CTO) have recognized every other for the ultimate 13 years, since they did their underneath-graduation collectively at Sardar Patel College of Engineering. They have also been joined via Ayush Ahuja from the same university who is now the Business Head of Fropcorn. The startup changed into also part of the first batch of the GenNext Innovation Hub, an accelerator by way of Reliance and Microsoft. Based out of Mumbai, currently, Fropcorn is a 20-member group with in-house groups for native apps, hardware, DRM & Software, content licensing and enterprise partnerships.
How It Works
In order to recognize the product greater, we need to recognize its three factors-the generation, the content material partnership, and the distribution partnership. In layman’s words, Fropcorn permits customers to download or get admission to content material at enormously quicker speeds with out burning away at their records plans. A consumer simply needs to download the application, hook up with the Fropcorn hotspot, and revel in get admission to to unlimited appropriate pleasant content.
To permit the Fropcorn Wi-Fi, the startup has internally designed servers called Minions. These Minions assembled in India, installation a Wi-Fi hotspot known as Fropcorn film, to which the consumer will connect to as a way to get right of entry to the content library via downloading the Fropcorn app from the playstore. In case he hasn’t downloaded the app, the Wi-Fi will sideload the app to the person’s tool whilst he connects with it for the primary time.
Coming to the content material partnership part, Fropcorn has tied up with leading studios like Yash Raj, Sun TV, Reliance, and others to being the first-class of leisure to visitors. This content material is at once procured from those production houses thru a prison partnership so as to make sure its safety and save it from piracy. Thus via virtual rights control answer, the content material available on Fropcorn simplest performs at the Fropcorn app, and can’t be hacked to make certain its protection. The consumer has the option to either download it or circulate it. The app enables buffer loose streaming for the users, accordingly including to the quality of the enjoy. The version one of the app took 12-14 minutes to down load a complete length film at the same time as the 3rd version makes it possible to do beneath 3 minutes! After downloading the content material, possible watch it any quantity of instances within the subsequent 48 hours.
As a long way as the distribution network is worried, the servers may be deployed in ways-standalone deployment and employer deployment. In standalone deployment, the servers can set up a network variety of 20 rectangular ft to 200 square toes, accordingly allowing about one hundred+ parallel customers on the airport. In buses, the standalone servers can support 32-forty parallel users.
In the business enterprise deployment, wherein a Wi-Fi network already exists such as airports, hospitals, and inns and so forth., one simply has to plug within the server inside the current network and configure it, and it conveniently becomes to be had anywhere at the entire network. In this configuration, it may guide a larger number of users.
Fropcorn’s fundamental target market includes people on the pass which includes specialists, students, travellers, predominantly inside the age of 18-34 years. The centered section could generally be secure using apps, and carry electronic gadgets, and seeking to eat content on the go with out burning away their mobile information packets. These people could be prepared to consume appropriate content material even as expecting their flights, trains, and buses, and also at some stage in the transit time.
Monetization, Funding, And Traction
The startup aims to monetize the ache point of viewing content material, as purchasers may be inclined to devour such statistics in an effort to avoid the boredom even as the usage of buses, airports, and railway stations. Hence it has rolled out a premium version for the consumers, in which the first half-hour of content is loose on the app. Post that the customers can upgrade their plan and may get limitless access to the library. Thus four hours of content material can be charged INR 30 whilst for an eight hour bus adventure, it will be charged at INR 50. Additionally, within the down load version, one pays for the down load and can view it variety of times. The download version pricing varies from surroundings to environment and might be priced between INR eighty – INR a hundred. Ayush provides that about 10-12% of unfastened users have now transformed to paid customers.
The startup raised a small angel round of investment in March 2015 so that you can get the product geared up, to go live at airports, and take a crack at the inter bus marketplace. It has already entered into agreements with two of the 5 airports targeted and is stay in a hundred buses. In the following six months, it plans to reach 10 airports and increase its bus pipeline to three hundred buses. Additionally, it has also entered into a agreement with the IRCTC for deploying Fropcorn servers inside the 60 lounges the IRCTC plans to release by means of then of 2016. Also on the playing cards is further product development, consequently Fropcorn is aiming to raise its Series A round inside the future soon because it pursues enlargement aggressively.
Post launching the second one version of the app in October 2015, Fropcorn has visible 2,500 direct downloads similarly to the undisclosed number of users to whose devices the app changed into sideloaded. The key metric tracked that's hours of content watched at the app has multiplied 8 times in the October-January period. As this metric grows from 25-30% on a month-on-month foundation, Fropcorn believes that the release at the Hyderabad airport will be a in addition large boost to it. Nearly 10,000 + commuters take a look at in everyday on the airport and Fropcorn is hopeful of leveraging this range in a huge way. Added to that the fact that the startup could be adding four extra airports to its repertoire in the next two months, traction is predicted to move up in a massive way this year.
Competition And Differentiation
The developing video on demand market has visible the entry of many gamers on this section. OTT gamers like Hotstar, Spuul, Yupp TV, Bigflix, Hooq, are startups which supply content material over statistics plans. However Fropcorn believes that people who are at the flow don’t select paying for content on high-priced information plans. Hence with its criminal content material and method of simplest going after the mass marketplace at the flow, it is going to be capable to differentiate itself from the handful of players in this phase.
Another close competitor is Delhi-based totally startup PressPlay which released its PressPlay TV hotspot community in September ultimate yr. The organization had raised has raised $2.2 Mn (over INR 13 Cr.) in seed investment from Sequoia Capital and a few angel buyers closing 12 months in August and prior to that it had raised $500K. PressPlay had also started off by means of renting-out pills with pre-loaded content material for INR one hundred to bus passengers. Later, it pivoted to release Wi-Fi services on buses in which the users can get entry to enjoyment content on their own Wi-Fi connected gadgets. PressPlay’s app comes loaded with about 30 films, 1,000 songs and 10 documentaries & cartoons as nicely. Its app that is presently on android consists of different class-primarily based channels.
As of September remaining 12 months, PressPlay had 500k customers in line with month at the network and extra than 2000 hotspots across the u . S . A .. The organisation is aiming to hit 10,000 hotspots.
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2016 is likewise the 12 months whilst the big daddy of video streaming i.E. Netflix released in India, with plans starting from INR 500. Fropcorn but believes that its plans beginning from INR500, Netflix is going after awesome top class customers and is extra geared towards important intake thru TV, whilst Fropcorn’s cognizance is particularly on the mass market on the move.
As of now, the content material is majorly video content material, which include films, documentaries and films, however going forward the app aims to provide all styles of brief and long form of content to its users. About 55% of the content material being supplied is regional content while the final 45% is Bollywood content material.
Netflix’s access within the country this 12 months just validates the burgeoning digital content material enterprise in the united states of america. The exponential increase in smartphones is fuelling video on demand and need for content material every time, everywhere without burning away steeply-priced records plans. To coins on this need, Fropcorn in uniquely positioned to leverage the mass marketplace on the circulate who desires content material to reduce the pain of waiting at transit points. Added to this is the truth that India is especially a completely big low value service market and most flights do not have in-flight enjoyment. Thus by way of partnering with airports, Fropcorn is aiming to elevate the patron experience and ensuring that each normal flier/ tourist has get right of entry to to tremendous quality content without consuming their information plans.
It will be thrilling to look at how does it supply on that front as it throws open the door to its carrier on the Hyderabad airport these days, hoping to trap guests with the enormously attractive proposition of a downloading a complete period movie under 3 minutes!