Cineplex Entertainment is Canada’s largest movie chain, serving 90% of the population and over 100 million visitors each year.
In 2008, Cineplex had only movie listings on their website and wanted to investigate the possibility of offering a digital storefront that would sell both physical DVDs as well as movie streaming / downloads.
Cineplex retained my services to evaluate the feasibility of entering the digital side of movie delivery, specifically to explore a “build vs. buy” technology model. The final outcome was a very detailed report outlining the pros and cons of several options along with the risk and reward associated with each.
I found Michael to be an excellent resource and a true subject market expert, bringing enormous insight and focus to a business that none of us knew a lot about. In addition, his approach to market sizing and business case analysis was first class, applying rigorous fact-based assumptions and research to a very complex analysis of consumer demand and corresponding cost/revenue estimates.Susan Mandryk, SVP Cineplex
I began by interviewing all of the executive stakeholders at Cineplex – from Directors to CTO and CEO – to get a complete picture of the goals for the project and the digital storefront. From those interviews and my own research I developed a more clear understanding of Cineplex as a company, their internal technological capabilities as well as what a large online endeavour such as this would mean to their core businesses (theatre, real estate, concessions).
I researched each of the major possibilities in detail:
- Build: assessing the real costs of building a streaming storefront from scratch required heaps of data: file storage and encryption costs, Content Delivery Network costs, custom app development for multiple platforms, and an e-commerce platform that would satisfy a number of different business models.
- Buy: investigated multiple different purveyors of “white label” storefronts to assess their costs, as well as their ability to satisfy Cineplex’s needs over the long term.
I developed a business case including a model that included all aspects of the video delivery ecosystem necessary to launch a streaming service at that time. The case laid out extensive technical and financial data and showed the pros and cons of build vs. buy, to educate Cineplex execs on the significant undertaking they were contemplating.