Cathay Cineplexes’ parent company mm2 Asia, and Golden Village’s parent company Orange Sky Golden Harvest Entertainment, have agreed to a possible merger of their cinema businesses in Singapore. According to a SGX listing, the merger would make the combined business the largest cinema operator in Singapore. The merger will also provide advantageous economies of scale, as well as more financial and operating stability to mm2 Asia’s cinema business.
The proposed merger comes in the face of challenges the cinema operators had since the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover businesses have bit hit due to the general disruption to the movie and cinema business, with the advent of content streaming apps and the growth of video content on social media. The merger would then result in a stronger platform for the operation of the cinema business.
mm2’s cinema business includes eight cinemas in Singapore under the Cathay brand and 14 cinemas in Malaysia under the "Cathay Cineplexes Malaysia", "Mega Cinemas" and "Lotus Fivestar" brands, as well as a movie film distribution business and an online streaming business. Its subsidiary, mm Connect, conducts screen advertising and ownership and operation of cinema business.
Earlier in September, Cathay Cineplexes entered the over-the-top (OTT) scene with its video service Cathay CineHome in Singapore. According to the company, Cathay CineHome was initially conceived as a complementary platform to the cinema business. However, its development was expedited as COVID-19 resulted in many cinemas closing from March to July this year during the circuit breaker period. Taking the downtime in stride, mm2 and Cathay Cineplexes looked to formulate the future of the movie business and accelerate its long-term plans for digital transformation.
According to Cathay, Cathay CineHome aims to serve movie lovers who may have missed catching their favourite films in the cinemas and the additional viewing opportunity will create synergies for both movie distributors and consumers. The content is available on platforms such as mobiles, tablets, computers, and available to cast straight to Smart TVs. Among the list of titles offered on Cathay CineHome include Ah Boys To Men 3: Frogmen, Bring Me Home, Little Q, Pee Nak 2, and Sheep Without A Shepherd.
To stand out from the other OTT platforms in the market, a Cathay spokesperson said Cathay CineHome is offering movies that were screened in cinemas that recently ended on a rental basis with no monthly fees. Therefore consumers will only need to pay for what they want to watch.
Meanwhile, to diversify its revenue streams, Golden Village recently switched up its Gold Class lounge at its Suntec outlet into a co-working space. Titled "Z.E.S.T @ Gold Class", the cinema is now allowing Singaporeans looking for a conducive location to work to utilise its space for SG$25, which includes perks such as unlimited Wi-Fi, popcorn, coffee and tea, and movie discounts.
In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from Golden Village said the offering is part of its efforts to remain relevant to its customers and demonstrate the cinema's ability to adapt to changing times. It is also a response to the challenges faced by its customers who have had to work from home for a long period of time as a result of the pandemic.
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