On a trip to Helsinki in Finland, Rajjat Barjatya stumbled upon 15,000 Indian families who had regular access to Bollywood movies even when no production house was distributing them there.
"The families were paying monthly rent to a website that delivered the latest pirated Bollywood content," says Barjatya, who figured that the Indian entertainment sector was being plagiarised and producers who were spending millions on marketing and publicity were being robbed, virtually.
"There was a huge gap in demand and supply of Bollywood content to NRIs settled all over the globe," adds Barjatya, the managing director of Rajshri Media, the digital arm of Rajshri Productions.
Not ready to give up on digital distribution just yet, entertainment majors such as Rajshri Media, UTV, YashRaj Studios, and Shemaroo Entertainment, among many others, are slowly building their digital roadmaps to tap the 5 million broadband-connected homes in India.
But the rising number of video-hosting sites also means that it is virtually impossible to keep track of illegal videos. Even as India's box office revenues are expected to swell up to $7.4 billion by 2010, according to PricewaterhouseCooper estimates, the downloaded content can garner more than $1.4 billion for the producers.