CHILI: The one-stop movie site taking on Netflix for global domination

As the entertainment industry continues to evolve for the digital future, watching movies at home has become increasingly complicated.

Streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Now TV only offer a limited range of titles, particularly if you’re looking for brand new releases. The world of digital downloads is equally confusing with a huge range of online destinations – Google Play, TalkTalk TV Store, Amazon, iTunes, Sky Store – all offering similar services.

One new service looking to stand out from the crowd is the subscription-fee free CHILI. Launched in Italy in 2012, CHILI is described by its CEO Giorgio Tacchia as “a one-stop-shop for all your entertainment needs”.

Like iTunes or Google Play, you can rent or buy the latest home entertainment releases such as Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or Sicario 2 (first movie rental is free), alongside older films such as the original Jurassic Park (rent for 90p) or the 1933 King Kong. There’s also a huge range of TV box sets available to rent or buy too.

Where CHILI stands apart from its big name rivals though is the ability to purchase merchandising, as well as physical DVDs and Blu-rays, for those films alongside the video rental. Completing the 360 cinema experience is also the ability to check local film times for new theatrical releases too.

Tacchia also hopes to add the ability to purchase cinema tickets to the site soon. He’s also looking to launch a pioneering movie bundle that would combine a theatrical ticket with a digital download code at some point in the future. So, theoretically, if you bought a cinema ticket for Bohemian Rhapsody through CHILI, for a bit more money, you could get the movie on digital download too when it’s released.

With backing from Hollywood giants Warner Bros., Paramount, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and many others, CHILI has expanded to Germany, Poland, Austria and the UK, and now has 2 million registered users across the world.

We caught up with Giorgio Tacchia to learn about the future for CHILI, including the platforms recent expansion into film festivals.

Yahoo Movies UK: What is CHILI and how does it stand apart from other film services?

Giorgio Tacchia: CHILI is the only pan European Independent reality TVOD service, that has developed the first and only Entertainment Centred Marketplace, which is a unique hub for everything a movie lover is passionate about.

We don’t want to just take market share from the likes of Netflix and Amazon. CHILI, thanks to its advantageous release window, works alongside SVOD services by complimenting and topping-up their offerings with its own unique character-centric platform. We take the movie experience a step further by providing a one-stop-shop for all your entertainment needs; including offering all the latest news, access to cinema tickets, DVD, Blu-ray disc, digital contents months before and official movie merchandise.

Where did the idea come from?

Visiting Silicon Valley frequently, I was surrounded by inspirational individuals in the tech space and had also spent over a decade in Media & TV, so launching a unique film and TV service was a natural next step for me. We launched CHILI to the Italian market in 2012, with an aim of creating a unique character-centric concept.

Securing the backing of Hollywood Studios – Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Viacom, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox – as shareholders was the turning point for CHILI. This propelled CHILI from a digital library into one of the most important movie and TV series on demand platform in Italy and an unrivalled entertainment hub. The platform has now accrued 2 million registered customers and earnt itself fans in Germany, Poland, Austria and now the UK.

What is the demographic of your user base?

The CHILI platform is for everybody who is passionate about movies and characters, from Hollywood titles to Indie labels.

If you love Jurassic Park you might want to watch the original films to prepare yourself for a cinema trip to see the latest Jurassic World instalment, whilst wearing your classic Jurassic Park tee. How many different websites or trips would you have to make to live a movie or a movie franchise in this way? CHILI offers this all in one place, so the platform appeals to people who don’t just want to watch but also really experience movies.

What are your hopes for the future of CHILI?

We want to grow our customers. In the UK’s big cities. Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London have been loving the service since launch, we want to keep growing this customer base and expand it to other UK areas. Across Europe as a whole we are on track to reach 15m consumer by 2022. Our hope is that CHILI becomes the first point of call for all movie fans’ entertainment needs.

What’s the next big innovation you’re hoping to launch?

You’ve always been able to check for show times and details at your local cinemas through the CHILI platform, but in the near future we are about to launch the ability to actually purchase cinema tickets through CHILI. Meaning you can benefit from our bundles, such as receiving the digital version after you have watched the film on the big screen.

What challenges have you faced rolling out CHILI beyond Italy?

The UK is a mature market for TV and film on demand, it has great broadband access, Smart TV usage and there is strong appetite for English speaking Hollywood content, so CHILI has been well received here. Beyond Italy and the UK CHILI has a presence in Austria, Poland and Germany, where the service has also quickly grown a strong user base, now totalling over 2 million.

Why was it important for you to team up with international film festivals?………