Cinedubs Revolutionizing Multilingual Movie-Viewing: The Innovative Startup Changing India’s Box Office Landscape
The Indian film industry, historically dominated by Hindi-language movies, has undergone a transformation in recent years. Regional films, particularly those from South India, have gained prominence, expanding the horizons of Indian cinema. This shift in audience preferences reflects the diverse cultural landscape of urban centers. However, it also highlights the challenge of providing movies in multiple languages. This issue came to the forefront when Aditya Kashyap found himself in Paris in 2015, craving to watch “Mission Impossible,” but the only available showings were in French.
Aditya recognized a significant gap in the industry – despite urban centers becoming global hubs, movie releases were often limited to a select few languages. This issue was further exacerbated as the practice of dubbing movies was expensive, requiring separate screens for each language. In 2016, Aditya, along with his brother Vineet Kashyap, embarked on a journey to bridge this linguistic gap, leading to the creation of “Cinedubs.” Launched in July 2022, Cinedubs aims to make multilingual cinema accessible to all, regardless of the language in which the film was originally released.
The founders bring a wealth of experience to the table. Aditya boasts over 25 years of leadership in various sectors, including aviation, IBM Daksh, Genpact, and Aegis, with the most recent role as CEO of Majorel India, a global customer experience company. Vineet, on the other hand, has a rich history of software development and product management at renowned companies, including HCL, Newgen Software, and Aricent, along with his tenure as CEO at Headspire Technologies.
Cinedubs introduces a groundbreaking solution through its app, enabling users to enjoy movies in their preferred language, regardless of the language being played in the theatre. This process begins with users downloading the film’s soundtrack in their chosen language onto their smartphone. The app uses Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure copyright protection and synchronizes the audio when the user is seated in the theatre.
To achieve this, the app employs a unique technology utilizing the 3D data structure classified frequency indexing (CFI) method, developed in-house. It records five seconds of audio from the screen using the microphone, thereby identifying the timestamp of the film. The patent-pending technology then seamlessly synchronizes the audio, playing the downloaded soundtrack with the original 3D spatial soundtrack, ensuring a seamless and immersive experience. Once inside the theatre, users can connect their headphones, hit play, and enjoy the film in their language.
Cinedubs collaborates with production companies, including Jio Studios, People Media Factory, AAArts, Tricolour Films, and several others, providing access to a wide range of films. While primarily focused on moviegoers, Cinedubs also extends its utility for users watching movies on OTT platforms.
Cinedubs app is developed in-house by Dubswork Mobile and has garnered impressive user ratings on Google Play Store and Apple Store. Currently, the app is free, but the company plans to introduce subscription options, including annual, half-yearly, and quarterly subscriptions for unlimited movie soundtrack downloads, sales for pay-per-download soundtracks, in-app advertising, and movie-based merchandise.
To date, the app has facilitated over 80,000 film soundtrack downloads by more than 35,000 users worldwide, with 90% hailing from India. Cinedubs envisions onboarding two million users by FY24-25 and 4.5 million by FY25-26, with revenue generation primarily from subscriptions and advertising. The startup targets $2.3 million in revenue by FY24-25 and $6.4 million by FY25-26.
Cinedubs faces competition from TheaterEars, which is limited to the US and Puerto Rico due to its English-to-Spanish limitation. Additionally, Indian startups like Dubverse.ai, SyncSense, and UniDub offer related services. The startup welcomed actor R Madhavan as its brand ambassador in August 2022.
The global film dubbing market is valued at $3.5 billion in 2022, expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.19% till 2018, reaching $5.3 billion in value. Cinedubs, after raising close to $350,000 from a seed round, is in discussions with investors for pre-Series A funding to expand its presence in Indian markets, the Middle East, and plans to enter the US and Europe by 2024. With its innovative solution, Cinedubs is at the forefront of transforming the way people experience movies, transcending linguistic boundaries.