Social Media Platform Feature : Flixstreet – A Social Discovery and Recommendation Engine for Indian Movies

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About the Platform.

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Flixstreet is a social discovery and recommendation engine for Indian movies.

Our proprietary recommendation algorithms combine the user’s tastes and preferences as well as social signals to suggest relevant Indian movies, both Bollywood and regional (coming soon!), through a clean interface unlike most other movie sites. Whether it is our web product, Facebook application, or mobile app (coming soon!), we create a beautiful social experience that helps the Indian moviegoer to navigate through the different stages of a movie viewing cycle–from discovery to planning to watch a movie to sharing reviews and opinions.

We are four co-founders:

  • Arindam Mukherjee (Business and Product) is an alumni of the Harvard Business School and IIT Kharagpur and currently works as a Product Manager with TripAdvisor.
  • Tithee Mukhopadhyay (Content) is Arindam’s wife and an alumni of Boston University and currently works as a Research Manager at the Harvard Business School.
  • Subhadeep Mondal (Product and UX Design) is an alumni of IIT Kharagpur and currently works as a Product Manager for Gaana.com.
  • Arnab Bhattacharya (Engineering) is an alumni of NIT Durgapur and currently works as a Mobile Application Developer with Oracle.

Whom do we cater to?

Our target audience is the Indian moviegoer. Currently, we are focused on the Indian market with plans to expand to the global Indian movie audience.

What do we offer to our consumers?

  • We all watch movies with friends and family BUT …
  • What is missing online is are social recommendations, since critics’ reviews are not a fair indicator of the pulse of the audience.
  • There is no social planning tool to watch movies with friends. Movie ticketing engines do not integrate with social media.
  • No website that takes you through the different stages of the cycle Discover-Follow-Book-Watch-Share.

Flixstreet aims to solve these problems by giving users a one-stop shop for Indian movies in an ad-free and clutter free UI with movie recommendations drawn from the user’s preferences and signals from their social circle.

What motivated us to start up?

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It was around the time that the movie Housefull 2 released, with Arindam and Tithee reading the critics’ reviews and finding almost all of them to have rubbished the movie. But their friends on Facebook and Twitter were raving about the movie. They went ahead and watched the movie and quite liked it. That was when they realised that social recommendations were a big and relatively correct factor when it comes to deciding which movie to watch–the same is missing right now for Indian movies in the online space. Long story short, we started Flixstreet to solve our own problem!

What’s in a name?

We are about movies and social media. Just like Dalal Street symbolizes a place buzzing with activity around stock trading and finance, we felt Flixstreet fit our case nicely. And of course, the domain name was available!

How do we see Social Media?

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Watching movies is one of the most social of  all the activities we engage in and social recommendations are such a big and relatively correct factor when it comes to deciding which movie to watch. We are out to tap this opportunity area and fill in the gap that exists in the world of Indian movies.

Currently we are….

We launched Flixstreet in December, 2012 and had a closed group of about 500 users participating in private beta. We came out of private beta in August and since then we have seen a significant amount of traction with our registered users increasing by around 10%. We will be launching our Android mobile app very soon and expect the traffic to increase further because of it.

Our biggest challenge was..

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Since for most moviegoers, the process starts with a search on Google, we have been up against movie sites that acquire traffic primarily through SEO. Rising up on the Google SERPs doesn’t happen overnight and that has been one of the biggest challenges, one that we continue to face.

We want to dominate the world by..

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We want to accompany the Indian movie goer at all times—be it when they are at a movie theater (and we serve pro-active movie recommendations) or in a bus browsing through latest trailers or on Facebook (where we serve notifications on new releases).

We’re making moolah by…

Our current monetization plans include a targeted movie promotion platform driven by campaign analytics for production houses as well as serving as an affiliate ticketing partner for the movie ticketing sites.

Our What The **** Moment

Seeing this (paid) critic review of Zanjeer on NDTV.

Industry as we foresee

Spam content will soon die. We have seen Google taking the lead in cutting down on spam and Facebook is also following in the same footsteps. Content that we generate needs to create value for users in order to resonate with them.

Facebook is no longer the juicy platform for virality that it used to be 2-3 years ago (remember Farmville invites?). Facebook advertising rules have changed and Indian websites need to change their ways of working too.

Using data analytics to serve customized content will be the big game changer in social media, with niche social networks continuing to rise.

Lastly, Are you hiring?

Yes, we are. We are looking for a full stack developer with experience in Ruby on Rails to join our engineering team as well as a content management lead as we foray into regional Indian movies.

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