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Flipkart flirts with online ticketing, might pick up minority stake in BookMyShow

The proposed deal could value BookMyShow at $500-700 million

  • Published: October 17, 2017 9:55 AM IST
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Flipkart is finally getting into ticketing —  one of the critical areas in online commerce — if reports are to be believed. The Bengaluru-based e-retailer is in preliminary talks with the country’s leading movie-and-events ticketing service BookMyShow for a strategic partnership. Flipkart investor Tiger Global is eyeing a significant minority stake in Bigtree Entertainment that owns BookMyShow, and would also buy out shares from another investor. If the deal goes through, BookMyShow would be valued at $500-700 million, according to Mint.

BookMyShow held nearly 80-85 percent of the entertainment ticketing market in India until last year. It included movies, plays, and live events like sports and concerts. However, after the launch of Paytm Movies, BookMyShow’s monopoly was challenged. Paytm Movies surpassed Rs 400 crore in gross merchandise value (GMV) in less than a year, and its platform now contributes 20 percent to the opening weekend collections of all movies. BookMyShow, on the other hand, started pivoting as a wholesome entertainment destination as opposed to a mere ticketing platform. Movie tickets account for about 60 percent of its sales now, and the shift towards content has been significant. ALSO READ: How Paytm challenged the BookMyShow monopoly in online movie ticketing

Possibly this is what lured Flipkart towards BookMyShow. Experts reckon that in order to truly compete with the raging Amazon, Flipkart needs to have an Amazon Prime equivalent in its portfolio. Or, it needs to build a content service. Through the BookMyShow partnership, Flipkart would not only be able to compete with Paytm on the ticketing front, but also have a presence on the content front to take on Amazon. It can now access Daily Social and Movie Nation (BMS-run entertainment websites) as well as YouTube channels, BookMyStyle and BookMyTv, which garnered over a 100 million views in their first six months. ALSO READ: Paytm to now focus on travel, hotels and movie ticketing with multiple offers and discounts

As India gradually moves towards a three-player e-commerce market, Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm would continue to build capabilities and strike strategic partnerships across verticals. And online ticketing particularly is poised to become huge. Out of the nearly Rs 3,000 crore ticketing industry, online accounts for only 15-20 percent of the sales. Hence, the scope to grow is massive, and Flipkart is acutely aware of it. Moreover, ticketing allows the e-commerce major to reach its customers on an additional front. That not only helps build loyalty, but also allows Flipkart to cross-promote its offerings.

  • Published Date: October 17, 2017 9:55 AM IST