There is No Fate But What We Make: June 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

SeventyMM Video rental service review

1. Largest collection in English, Hindi and 12 regional languages
2. Browse and select movies online
3. Get movies delivered and picked up for FREE
4. No late fee - keep movies as long as you like

That Simple ! This is the value proposition of SeventyMM, India's equivalent of NetFlix.

The first online video rental store - they claim to be the only one in India, and they have a large
collection - over 15,000 titles. You can join as a member, and select movies, and they are delivered
to your home. Clearly, this is based on the extremely popular Netflix service in USA, which is rapidly
spreading to many cities, and will overtake Blockbuster soon in terms of revenues.

Everything online
You can sign up, select and browse videos, ask for pickup and delivery, all online. The Search feature
can search by title, actor, director. You can't do this at your video store.

The collection to choose from
They keep adding more titles to their list all the time, they already have a decent collection of 15,000+
videos in many Indian languages and English. You may find movies you normally don't see in your local video
store. How it works - you browse their collection, and make a list of movies to watch. Each time,
they deliver the top two movies on your list. You can keep adding to the list.

Pickup and delivery
You never have to step out of the house, they deliver the videos, they pick up the videos.
Within 1 day of your request.

Good prints
Frequently your video store carries pirated prints. Camera in theater prints are especially horrible.
Here they carry only legal DVDs/VCDs, so the prints will be good. No more disappointments due to
unwatchable prints.

No late fees !!
You can keep them as long as you want. Your local video store guy charges by the day, doesn't he ?
That’s not very convenient if you couldnt watch the video for some reason, and need more time,
or want to watch again with a friend.

Fixed prices
The Basic monthly membership is 199/-, for which you can see 4 videos a month. That works out to 50 Rs per DVD,
which is the same as your local video, minus your petrol charges for driving up to the store.
The Unlimited plan is 549/- a month, for which you get as many videos as you want. 549 Rs works out to
about 11 videos per month in your local video, at Rs 50 per video. So consider which suits your viewing
habits better. You can only get 2 videos at a time. You can return them as late or early as you want,
and get two more. The Basic plan seems to be for people who watch very infrequently, and Unlimited for
those who watch a lot of movies. You can of course also keep your local video membership, if it is cheaper,
and use the SeventyMM's Basic service to get those harder-to-find movies.

Other costs
They also have a deposit of 999/-, which is refundable if you cancel your membership. That seems a little high,
but as they are carrying legal (non-pirated DVDs), then the cost of two DVDs is about a 1000 rupees, so that
makes sense. There is a registration fee of 499, which is not returnable. This is probably to keep out the
people who wanna join for short term only. However, from time to time, they have offers to reduce this
registration fee to 199/- or remove it altogether.
Update: Actual experience of people about getting back the security deposit back is not all that good.
It can take around 1 month.

Trial membership
There is none generally. But from time to time, they have offers to give 1st month off so you can try
their service.

Free membership if you bring friends
If you bring six friends to join up, your membership becomes free forever!!. For every friend you bring,
one-sixth of your membership fee is reduced.

Currently available only in Bangalore, Delhi, Bombay, Chandigarh, Chennai

Please make sure you browse their database of movie titles (that is open for non-members also) to make sure you like
their collection, before joining.
This is a new service, so there will be some glitches. For eg, when a new Bollywood movie comes to video, everyone
will want to watch it immediately. But depending on how many copies of the movie they have, you may not get it
immediately. You also get the movies in the order of your list, so there you dont have a choice, I think, if you
suddenly change your mind. Delivery and pickup times may also vary, and someone will have to be home to deal with
the deliveryman. If you are a working-couple, this may be a bit of a problem. I hope they are flexible and can
deliver at your convenience, in such a case.

You can share the videos, since allows you to keep them as long as you want.

I think this is a very good service as such, and I hope Seventymm is here to stay and get better
I have used Netflix in the US, and initially I had some doubts, but this online format with door-delivery works really
well there. There I get the videos in the mail. In India, by mail is not really a good option, so it will be
personal delivery.