Bruijnen describes Pathé Thuis as the largest video on demand-player in the Netherlands where you pay per film. The formula is simple: you go to the website, open an account, choose a movie, pay and watch it immediately. Pathé Thuis therefore does not work with subscription models. A conscious strategy, says Bruijnen. “We rent out the rights to cinema films that have just been released and those films are simply not available for subscription types. So we offer the latest cinema films and these are settled per screened film. “Pathé Thuis also operates independently of the Pathé cinema chain, says Bruijnen. “We do something completely different, but we do use the name. Very handy. “
Pathé Thuis determines in consultation with the distributor when the film in question becomes available and in which exploitation. If the distributor wants to release a film, Pathé first does that in the cinema, but now during the corona crisis, that possibility is logically not there. Bruijnen: “Then all signals go off with us. As a filmmaker you only want one thing and that is that your film is seen. That is why we now release films early at Pathé Thuis, so that film fans still do not have to miss anything. Normally there is a period of four months between the screening and Pathé Thuis. In fact, we respond to current events, very organically. Since the outbreak of the crisis, we have not had to organize anything else internally, we had already had everything: the screens, the store, the technology. “
The corona crisis is dramatic for the film market, says Bruijnen. Movie theaters, distributors, producers, actors, they all have a hard time. But Pathé Thuis is not among the victims, that is having a favorable time. “We are doing well, our service has been used more since the corona outbreak. Indeed, because people sit at home and have more time to watch movies. It would be unbelievable to tell a wailing story now. “Since the coronavirus broke out in the Netherlands, Pathé Thuis’ turnover has doubled, says Bruijnen. “90% of our customers are regular moviegoers. They would normally see a new movie in the cinema, but now they come to us. We are now doubling in the number of films watched and the number of people who watch a film. Existing customers consume more and that also attracts new people. So we are growing; after corona, i expect our brand awareness to have increased. Our customer service department is really busy. As mentioned, we are now doubling turnover, which means that there is also a doubling in the number of customer questions. “Pathé Thuis is therefore taking advantage of the current corona crisis, but Bruijnen is not flying the flag. “Look, there are also films that are not made because of the crisis. We are not bothered by that now, but if the normal world continues, it will be. You will therefore not see films that will not be shown in the cinema at Pathé Thuis. So I am cautiously optimistic. In the longer term, we will still feel the impact of corona. “
The reactions of the Pathé Thuis consumer during this time of corona are largely positive, says Bruijnen. “Simply because we offer entertainment in these difficult times. Selling movies is selling emotion. Just change your senses, just laugh. We are a product that people want. I also see it as our task to drag people through this period. “When asked about the marketing strategy of Pathé Thuis, Bruijnen calls it organic. “We actually use the traditional online channels: SEO, SEA, affiliate marketing, link building. That’s all organic traffic that we don’t spend extra money on. We don’t do anything in offline media. “And what about the competition? “That is every streaming service where you pay per film. So Google Play, Apple, iTunes, Ziggo. But the great thing is: Pathé Thuis is the only brand name where consumers immediately think of films. That is where our distinctiveness lies. “
This article originally appeared in MT20.07.