Now, watch the latest Bollywood movies on Khaleej Times
The exclusive partnership will allow it to premier first day first show Bollywood films directly to KT readers across the UAE.
In keeping with Dubai’s reputation of being the city of firsts, Khaleej Times has become the first media house in the world to offer a first-day, first-show movie experience — right from the comfort of your home.
What’s more, there are no subscriptions, downloads or sign ups involved.
Khaleej Times has partnered with Australia-based Tech innovators, FilMe, to bring our readers the latest movies, facilitated by a simple scan of a QR code. You can also connect your phones to TV screens and watch the latest movies in high-definition (1080p) without any ads or disruptions.
As per the terms of the partnership, Khaleej Times’ print and digital channels will carry a unique QR code, which can be scanned using mobile phones. Once scanned, the virtual cinema experience begins within 10 seconds.
Since FilMe has collaborations with many established production houses, the exclusive partnership will allow it to premier first day first show Bollywood films directly to KT readers across the UAE. Through FilMe’s innovative solution, customers won’t require any subscriptions, downloads or sign ups to watch the latest movies. They will find the QR code on all Khaleej Times channels. It works seamlessly on all smartphones and offers a one-of-a-kind e-cinema experience.
Speaking about the partnership, Suhail Galadari, Co-chairman, Galadari Brothers, said: “Khaleej Times has always been a popular stopover for Bollywood stars. Now, I am delighted to announce that we have become the first newspaper/media house in the world to offer a first day, first show of the latest Bollywood movies to our readers from the comfort of their homes through a QR code. I am happy that even in these unprecedented times, we are able to gift smiles to our audience in the form of such a unique offering that will keep them safe at home with their loved ones and yet enjoy a unique movie viewing experience. This partnership with FilMe has helped us take our love for Bollywood to a whole new level.”
Mohammed Galadari, Co-Chairman, Galadari Brothers, said: “We at Khaleej Times are aligned with the UAE’s spirit of innovation and resilience and are happy to introduce a new and unique source of entertainment for our audience with this unique partnership with FilMe. Introducing a QR based technology to watch the latest releases is a feather in our cap as no newspaper in the world has ever offered such a unique platform. We will give our audience an e-cinema experience from the safety of their homes. While Khaleej Times has always been synonymous with bringing to our readers the latest news, with this historic collaboration, we will also bring the latest Bollywood movies to their screens.”
Calling the move a positive development, Nilesh Devadia, Director, Distribution & Business Development, said: “Khaleej Times, the UAE’s top-selling English daily and one of the most reputed media houses in the UAE, is focused on growth in the digital landscape that has become imperative owing to the Covid-19 challenges. Studies have revealed that movies have a large, discernible, and untapped audience in the region. A partnership with FilMe is one of the several initiatives in that direction that we have planned to launch in 2021. Our audience is constantly evolving, and so are we.”
Faisal Mushtaq, CEO, MeTime Entertainment, exclusive distributor of FilMe in the GCC, called it a historic moment. “In this age of the pandemic, our reliance on digital medium has seemingly forwarded by almost five years. Be it education, grocery shopping, corporate functioning, meetings or conferences - each sector has made the huge transition of moving from the actual world to the virtual one.
“Taking the baton forward, FilMe, one of the newest technologies of today’s times, presents E-cinema. With this technology, one need not have to leave the comfort and safety of one’s homes to watch latest released movies as now they can be accessed by a simple scan of a QR code via one’s mobile phones.
“FilMe’s partnership with Khaleej Times is a watershed event as never in history have movies been released through a media house. This association will also be seen as a paradigmatic shift in the way films distribution proceeds. We firmly believe FilMe, with its technology and content, alongside Khaleej Times’ wide audience reach across the region, combined with its marketing strength, is what makes this partnership impactful from the word go.”
Subhash K Nair, Director Marketing of Me Time Entertainment, added: The synergy between Me Time with Khaleej Times allows us to widen the horizon of how entertainment is perceived and enjoyed in the UAE and will allow easy access to new novie content like never before."
‘FilMe is different from Netflix and Amazon’
It was his personal struggle to find film distributors that led Dr Abhishek Shukla, founder and CEO of FilMe, to establish his unique movie streaming technology.
“I had worked on my movie for four years but was unable to distribute it easily in the market,” said Dr Shukla, who holds a PhD in International Business and Strategic Management from Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne.
“I went on deep research to find ways to make films more accessible and realised I was not alone. The entire industry was grappling with this issue and were able to penetrate only 10 per cent of the market. With this new innovation, we can now reach the masses and even small towns,” he explained.
Dr Shukla’s innovative tech allows everyone to carry a cinema in their pocket. “FilMe is your personal cinema, which is why I named it FilMe — Me stands for the individual and all about his or her entertainment. It is a browser-based system and hence no media player is required to play content. A user simply needs to scan a QR code printed on a screen or a physical card or paper. The camera will take you to a browser where you can stream the movie. The QR code works with almost all smartphones.
“The QR code used by his/her phone will save that particular person’s number and no one else will have access to it. This means only you will control how the movie is consumed. A video can be watched seven times over seven days. Once activated, you have seven days to finish the movie.”
Talking about how it is different from other websites such as Netflix and Amazon, Shukla said: “FilMe is an e-cinema experience. Earlier, movies were released in cinemas but with Covid-19 pandemic, tables have turned and movies are making way to your mobile and TV screens by simply buying them at half the price of a cinema ticket. We are offering the latest Bollywood movies, including fresh releases, exactly how you see them in cinemas. The platform is aimed at users who are in smaller cities with no access to quality theatres as well as students who don’t have a budget for all the movies. It is also aimed at those who don’t want to subscribe to OTT platforms and don’t like recurring charges.”
Things will change for the better for KT readers with this new partnership, added Shukla. “While KT readers could read film reviews, they can now simply click or scan the QR code next to the review to watch the movies. You can simply watch the film from wherever you are by using the FilMe QR code.”