Of Bloody Daddy, Jio Cinema and how to do MVP at scale

  • You start watching a movie, stop midway and when you restart the app, there is no syncing from the last location! Yes, Jio Cinema’s iPad app starts the movie from the start every time you launch the app! (Resume has no meaning).
  • On the iPad, the app by default switches to portrait mode. And the only way to fix this is by manually tapping on the full screen mode icon.
  • The intro videos were pixelated for the first few seconds. Badly (even though I am on good network connection)

Ladies and Gentlemen – this is 2023 and it feels quite weird that JioCinema isn’t really close to Netflix or Amazon Prime experience.

If you were hired as a product leader at JioCinema, you probably will explore one of the 2 options below 👇

1. Fix the product. Delay the marketing promo

That is, spend some time building a better product – at least create an equally good product experience like Netflix, Amazon prime. Iron out all these bugs even before letting the marketing teams focus on acquiring movies like Bloody Daddy (production budget: ₹ 200 crores)

2. Create Demand

That is, spend some time creating demand, stay with an average product. Be open to get laughed upon / mocked on social media platforms.

By spending money in acquiring content (after all, Sony’s super average product has proven that at the end of the day, if you have content, you have eye balls), Jio Cinema will have eye balls and regain the lost traffic (post IPL).

By giving it away for free, it spares itself from the mockery, memes and the wrath of customers (Jio did the same thing with IPL and the product did improve as IPL progressed).

Clearly, Jio Cinema has prioritised the second option over the first and in the process has nailed a clever GTM by giving away the content for free.

At a minimum, Jio has spent Rs. 200 crores for the movie rights (of Shahid Kapoor’s Bloody Daddy) and by giving it away for free, it has bought time for the engg team to fix these bugs ensuring that the content / marketing teams isn’t gated on engg.

If Jio is doing this at scale, why are startups so serious about building a great looking (FINAL) MVP and not focusing on creating / capturing demand?

Why are we afraid to be criticised? To be mocked upon?

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