We Don’t And Won’t Run Ads As We Believe That Negatively Impacts The User Experience, Says Arindam Mukherjee, Co-Founder Flixstreet

Flixstreet is a social discovery and recommendation engine for Indian movies, where you can discover, share and follow your friends’ recommendations on movies. Having reviewed it recently, we were quite impressed with its neat design and found the platform to be headed in the right direction, with more of a social layer added onto it. On Flixstreet one can know about new movies and also find what the world is talking about them, rather than basing their decisions on paid reviews.

We Don’t And Won’t Run Ads As We Believe That Negatively Impacts The User Experience, Says Arindam Mukherjee, Co Founder Flixstreet image Flixstreet FoundersWe Don’t And Won’t Run Ads As We Believe That Negatively Impacts The User Experience, …

Flixstreet has been developed by a team of four movie aficionados – Subhadeep Mondal who leads Product and UX (top left), Arnab Bhattacharya who is the lead architect (top right), Tithee Mukhopadhyay who leads content (bottom right) and Arindam Mukherjee who leads product and marketing (bottom left). The idea behind creating a social discovery and recommendation engine for Indian movies is an interesting one, one that was started as a solution to their own problem after having found a missing gap for Indian movies in the online space.

It was when the movie Housefull 2 had released. Arindam and his wife Tithee were reading the critics’ reviews and almost all of them had rubbished the movie. But their friends on Facebook and Twitter were raving about it. So they went ahead and watched the movie and quite liked it. That was when they thought that social recommendations are such a big and relatively correct factor when it comes to deciding which movie to watch – leading to the idea of Flixstreet.

We caught up with Arindam to find out more about this exciting startup, what differentiates them from other similar platforms and the road ahead.

Prasant Naidu: How are you bringing the social layer at Flixstreet?

Arindam Mukherjee: In quite a few different ways:

- There’s a Recommended by Friends section where you can view movies that have been rated highly by your friends.

- The Notifications feature lets you know which movies your friends are rating and adding to their watchlists.

- A Watch with Friends feature that allows you to invite friends to watch a movie together. We are currently building out the feature to integrate with ticket bookings etc. so that you can avail of discounts for group bookings!

- You can see which of your friends have rated or added a movie to their watchlist from the movie page (and very soon on the home page).

- Analyzing Tweets about a movie to capture the social buzz and feeding it back to our Street Pulse rating for a movie.

- Streetchat that captures the casual gossip around a movie.

- A profile page (viewable to others) that lays out the movies you have rated/reviewed/added to your watchlist and the number of friends you have on the Flixstreet community.

- A lot of new features (eg. Follow like minded movie lovers)

PN: What would be your USP when compared to other competing startups who are in the same market?

AM: – A recommendation engine that encapsulates the social buzz around a movie.

- An ad-free neat UI.

- A one stop shop that takes the user through the different stages of the movie viewing cycle (discover-learn-plan-book-discuss).

PN: Upcoming features that you are excited to launch at Flixstreet.

AM: Lots of features around social and a mobile app which we should launch by the year end.

PN: Apart from running ads, what other sources of revenue are you thinking of?

AM: First, we don’t and won’t run ads as we believe that negatively impacts the user experience. We are still testing a few hypotheses around our revenue model but it’ll be something around bookings and providing a marketing platform for production houses.

PN: Present challenges at Flixstreet and how do you plan to overcome them?

AM: For one, the team being spread across two timezones! On a serious note though, since a lot of the movie goers start their process with the search engines, we have been consistently working to improve our presence in the top search ranks which doesn’t happen overnight.

An ad-free platform with a mobile app on the way sounds like a cool idea. We wish Flixstreet grows from strength to strength and brings us exciting features to help discover Indian movies.

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