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MUBI : Indie Movies OTT

Over-the-top (OTT) services have taken off in recent years, expanding beyond theaters and stations. OTTs like Netflix and Disney+ have become so popular that it’s hard to imagine anyone not subscribing to them. Nowadays, however, OTTs with various concepts, such as OTTs centered on specific genres such as ‘anime’ and ‘art films’, or OTTs targeting specific countries, are also steadily emerging. Some of them are maintaining their popularity by consistently providing attractive content that differentiates them from other OTTs.

At Screena, we are developing solutions that allow you to chat while watching, not only for large streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+, but also for smaller streaming services that have a loyal fan base. Along the way, whenever we come across an interesting OTT, we like to write about it to share its charm and fun. Today, we’d like to introduce you to a service called MUBI.

1. MUBI?

MUBI is an OTT service for lovers of diverse and independent films from around the world. Founded in 2007, the service is now available worldwide. Although it is not well known in Korea, Park Chan-wook’s ‘Decision to Leave’ has selected MUBI as a distribution partner in the United States and Ireland, and there is also news that the works of the 2023 Jeonju International Film Festival will be screened on MUBI.

2. What kind of movies are there?

There are many different types of movies on MUBI. I had a preconceived notion that it would be European art films because it’s in English, but there were a lot of Asian films from China, Malaysia, Japan, etc. and I could see that it wasn’t necessarily just recent films; when I first came across it, a Hungarian animation from 1979 was streaming. The common thread was that there are a lot of films that were less popular, more thought-provoking, and unique than movies that a lot of people would watch.

3. Features of MUBI

One of the biggest features of MUBI is that the streaming period is relatively short compared to other OTTs. MUBI has a “30-day” streaming period for each work, which makes it feel more like a theater compared to other streaming services. In addition, each work has 5,000–10,000 reviews, providing valuable reviews and attention to the creators of the work.

Another unique feature is that all content is available for global viewing. In the case of Netflix, there are many works that are restricted by country unless they are original content, but in the case of MUBI, it was significant that I was able to watch the same video from all over the world.

MUBI also offers a community + blog service called NOTEBOOK and Watchlist. These services allow people to create lists of their favorite movies, write book reviews, and interact with each other.

In particular, some people specialize in reviewing and recommending Asian movies, which can help people with similar interests find good movies. You can also see them communicating together about these reviews.

Limitations of MUBI

The biggest obstacle to introducing and enjoying MUBI in Korea is the language: Korean subtitles are rarely available (or so I’ve been told, but I’ve never been able to find them), and Korean works seem to be few and far between.

MUBI’s 2022 revenue is expected to be around 170 billion won, and it’s amazing to see that an independent artistic film has made a business out of it. It’s not only a cultural movement but also a business.

MUBI has a global reach, so you don’t need a VPN to start watching right now, especially since you can watch for free for a week when you first sign up, so join us on Screena to chat and discover these gems.



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