Salman Khan-starrer ‘Radhe’, has offered a new ray of hope to the Indian film industry with the partial success of a multiple platform experiment at a time when Bollywood has suffered massive losses amid closure of cinema screens due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zee Studios had decided to release ‘Radhe’ simultaneously across multiple platforms, including theatres (wherever they are open) and via pay-per-view on Its Over the Top (OTT) platfotms Zee 5 and ZEEPLEX. ‘Radhe’ was available to rent for ₹249 on ZEE5 as well as for DTH subscribers. Additionally, ZEE5 had also launched a combo offer for annual subscription at ₹499, giving ‘Radhe’ complimentary.
Zee Studios and Salman Khan Films’ decision to open Radhe…online and offline simultaneously had resulted in massive pre-sales, with fans lining up to see the film on its opening day. The bold decision has given the audience to consume a high-on-entertainment, quintessential Salman Khan movie at a place and time of their choice. “The makers of ‘Radhe’ have truly shown that with unprecedented circumstances comes the responsibility to make innovative choices that will in turn pave the way for future business models,” said an industry expert.
The only glitch was that the digital platform’s servers crashed after a large volume of people logged in to watch the action-thriller.
“This spell good news for an industry grappling with the temporary closure of the traditional exhibition sector. It takes a phenomenal star like Salman Khan to educate the audience to consume content in existing as well as new formats, even in times like these. It has also filled other production houses and studios with the hope that innovation is the key to reboot the industry’s prospects in the near future,” added another industry insider. Meanwhile the creators said, “With ‘Radhe’, we are determined to see a new wave of a hybrid release, which will in turn help the entertainment industry to grow and flourish during these times.” Apart from Salman Khan, the movie also sees Disha Patani, Jackie Shroff and Randeep Hooda in pivotal roles.
Vidya Balan’s movie Sherni is set for pure OTT release on Amazon Prime Video. Shakuntla Devi was the first movie starring Vidya Balan which has skipped threaritical release and launched on OTT.
However, the move also exposed the piracy aspect of the move. In an official statement, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEE) said that it has filed an official complaint at the Cyber Cell, pertaining to the pirated version of the film ‘Radhe’ being circulated across messaging platforms, including WhatsApp and Telegram.
“We offered you to watch our film Radhe at a reasonable price of INR 249 per view. In spite of that pirated sites are streaming Radhe illegally, which is a serious crime,” said Salman Khan.