Dendy Cinemas will be the first Australian independent cinema circuit to offer a Video-on-Demand service that’s due to launch in April.
Dendy Direct will offer movies and TV shows to rent or own from the US majors and independents, at similar prices to the existing VOD platforms. If it meets that launch target, Dendy will beat Hoyts’ long delayed VOD service Hoyts Stream. Dendy Direct is being run by head of digital Kate Stapleton.
Dendy Cinemas CEO Greg Hughes tells IF the VOD service is an “extension of our cinema business.” Stapleton says, "We are currently in discussions with all key independent and studio distributors."
Dendy Direct will tap into the database of 62,000 paid-up members of Club Dendy and to the 100,000 people who subscribe to the exhibitor’s e-newsletter.
More broadly, Stapleton says the service will be marketed to the 1.5 million people who attend Dendy Cinemas each year. She confirms there are no plans at the moment to offer a subscription VOD service similar to Foxtel Presto and Quickflix. She spent the past five years heading marketing for the company's home entertainment business.
Customers will be able to watch content on a variety of devices including desktop/PC, tablet, mobile (iOS and Android) and through an exclusive application on Samsung Smart TVs.
Hughes says, “Dendy is a strong brand with a loyal community. Dendy Direct will enable us to meet more of the Dendy customers' entertainment needs, whether that be cinema or home entertainment content. With the addition of Dendy Direct, our brand proposition will encompass transactions across a broad spectrum of product types and lifecycles.”
Dendy’s technical partner is Massive Interactive, whose CEO Ron Downey, says, "This exciting new venture combines Dendy's detailed knowledge of cinema and movie-watchers with Massive's expertise in online video store end to end solutions and storefronts on multiple devices. Australians who love Dendy's quality brand proposition will soon be able to enjoy it in their own home on a device of their choice."
Dendy Direct is scheduled to launch in April 2014. www.dendydirect.com.au