Bringing Arthouse Cinema Home, Innovating to Reach New Audiences

Insys is an AWS Select Consulting Partner

Executive Summary is a video-on-demand (VOD) platform connecting more than 40 arthouse cinemas to bring the cinema to viewers’ homes across Poland. Consumers can purchase access to a movie from the available programming, with the proceeds going to the cinema hosting the film. The project was implemented by Insys Video Technologies within a couple of weeks in response to the closure of cinemas due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud environment, the solution can be easily scaled as required.

Closing Cinemas

With the closure of cinemas throughout Poland, it was important for operators to find new ways to reach their audiences remotely, attract new customers from across the country, and to monetize this service to keep cinemas going. This meant giving consumers access to the latest releases from the comfort of their own homes on a pay-per-view basis.

Consumers across the country were spending more time at home and seeking content to keep them entertained. This was evident across the globe with a sharp rise in video consumption beginning in March 2020. In fact, according to a recent report by Strategy Analytics, subscriptions to Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) services are due to reach 949 million in 2020, 5% more than originally forecasted.

Bringing the Cinema Home

The Arthouse Cinemas Association was keen to ensure fans would remain engaged. Marlena Gabryszewska, CEO at the Arthouse Cinemas Association, commented: “It was very important for us that fans of arthouse cinema would still have access to the film culture. To meet those needs, we decided to create a project.”

The project gives consumers across Poland easy access via web browsers and mobile devices to the titles they could have otherwise seen in arthouse and local cinemas. It has already been met with great enthusiasm from the cinemas as well as fans, so much so that it will continue to be available after cinemas reopen, giving fans another way to engage with the latest releases even when they are unable to attend in person.

Attracting a New Audience

As well as delivering a way for existing fans to experience the movies they would have watched in the cimena, the association was keen to engage new audiences.

Marlena Gabryszewska, CEO, the Arthouse Cinemas Association, added: “People who have not used the services of arthouse cinemas so far because of the distance, will now be able to watch movies without moving from home.”

A Customized VOD Platform

To minimize the business impact for the cinemas, the new service needed to launch in an extremely short timeframe. At the same time, the Arthouse Cinemas Association was eager to have a customized and unique VOD service. It approached Insys Video Technologies to see what would be possible.

Insys VT was able to build a customized service based on its white-label VOD platform, Insys VOD. As a cloud-based solution, it can be adapted and implemented quickly and easily. Insys VT assigned a dedicated project manager to oversee implementation, all of which was handled remotely due to COVID-19 and the need for social distancing. Even remotely, Insys VT was able to react to changes quickly and implement the solution fast, using the cloud workflow supported by AWS.

AWS to Enable Scalability and Flexibility

Scalability was key as viewing numbers were likely to peak around movie releases. Insys VT provided the VOD platform based on a scalable AWS Cloud-based environment. This means that can be easily scaled up to allow for those peaks ahead of releases and scaled back down at other times.

The platform is cloud-based, using AWS Lambda and a number of AWS Media Services to enable processing and delivery of video content. AWS Elemental MediaConvert ensures easy creation of VOD-ready versions of movies. Thanks to Amazon CloudFront, a fast content delivery network, movies can be securely, quickly, and reliably delivered with low latency. Integration with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) allows the titles to be stored in the cloud, which means they can be quickly and easily accessed as required.

A Successful Launch launched on May 21, 2020, just over two weeks after the project was started. The scalable AWS Cloud environment meant it could launch fast and allows the Arthouse Cinema Association to increase resources just before the premiere of VOD materials. Having been extremely happy with the launch, the Arthouse Cinema Association is continuing to work with Insys VT to maintain, develop, and update The first update involved bringing the same VOD platform to mobile devices.

Arthouse Cinemas Association

About The Arthouse Cinemas Association

Founded in 2006, the Arthouse Cinemas Association is a voluntary and self-governing association of Polish cinema operators and other cinematography professionals. In 2020, the Association became the operator of the Arthouse and Local Cinemas Network program, supporting 230 traditional private and local government cinemas throughout Poland.

The Association represents and protects the interests of its members with distributors, state, and local authorities and by promoting the genre.

About Insys Video Technologies

Insys Video Technologies is one of the fastest-developing video integration companies in Europe, offering comprehensive implementation of OTT projects from strategy and design through to development, deployment, and maintenance. More than four million consumers use video services powered by Insys VT solutions.

Published November 2020