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BookMyShow lays off 200 employees as covid rages on

Online ticketing site BookMyShow has laid off 200 employees as the covid-19 pandemic rages on, restricting outdoor entertainment options. Last May, the company had decided to lay off and furlough 270 employees across its offices in India and globally, which made up 18.6% of its workforce.

“As we let go of 200 of the most incredibility talented and performance-driven individuals, each and everyone has messaged, thanking me for the opportunity,” Ashish Hemrajani, chief executive officer and co-founder of Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, which operates BookMyShow, tweeted on Thursday.

To be, the online ticketing site launched in India in 2007 has borne the brunt of the enormous hit that the media and entertainment sector has taken in the country. While film business is estimated to lose around Rs. 5,000 crore in 2021 alone, the live events and exhibition sector is staring at a dismal future too, with lockdowns and curfews in several states and people likely to remain wary of outdoor entertainment in the near future.

This February, BookMyShow had launched a pay-per-view video streaming service BookMyShow Stream, calling it an attempt at a relatively uncluttered space in the otherwise crowded subscription-driven Indian OTT (over-the-top) market.

Launching with 600 movie titles, the TVoD (transaction video-on-demand) service that hopes to offer to 2,000 films over the next 9-12 months, said it would bring a range of Hollywood, Hindi and independent, foreign cinema in partnership with American studios such as Sony Pictures, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures, Indian production houses like Viacom18, Shemaroo and Rajshri Productions as well as regional content providers like Divo and Sillymonks, among others. The library that includes titles such as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Gal Gadot starrer Wonder Woman 1984, horror fantasy The Craft: Legacy and Russian science fiction thriller Coma, is available for both rent and purchase for prices ranging between Rs. 40-600 depending on the movie. A film on rent is available for 30 days and once started, would have to be finished viewing within 48 hours while a title can be purchased for six months or even longer.

BookMyShow is owned by Big Tree Entertainment Pvt Ltd and has seen investments from media and entertainment group Network18 owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, and global equity investors like Accel Partners and SAIF Partners in the past. Network18 currently owns a 39% stake in BookMyShow. According to estimates by data and analytics platform Craft, the ticketing site has around 1,068 employees as of June 2021. Live Mint

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