The Over-the-top(OTT) media service provides an environment where you can access Movies, Videos, Web-series, or live videos. They can be accessed via websites or via apps on different devices. You may have heard about some of them like “NETFLIX”,” AMAZON PRIME”, and many more. The number of these platforms are growing day by day, there are currently 40 platforms providing the OTT service. According to a survey, one-third of OTT viewers spend over an hour on the platform.
There is a 75% increase in the subscriptions of these OTT apps during the lockdown phase due to COVID-19. In this pandemic situation, everyone is at home and has ample of time to spend on these platforms, so they are looking for quality content. According to reports, The size of the Indian audience is currently 76.5 million and expected to grow at 22% per year.
WHAT MAKES THEM MORE CONVENIENT?
The reason behind this rapid growth of OTT platforms is that they provide flexibility to watch the content across a range of devices at any suitable time, which Television cannot offer because of technical limitations. So, users are gradually shifting towards these platforms rather than televisions or theaters.
OTT platforms also provide audience targeting, cost-effectiveness, premium viewership, ease of access, pause feature, etc, which are some of the reasons why it is attracting viewers as well as advertisers. “Personalization technique” of these platforms by which they understand the user’s interest and suggest relevant programs is also working for them. Many investors and marketers are also investing in these platforms as this sector is growing day by day.
IMPACT OF OTT PLATFORMS ON MOVIE THEATRES
Movies, which were only available via theaters are now finding their place on these video streaming platforms. Their emergence also resulted in a disruption in the cinema sector.
According to Shoojit Sircar, a popular movie producer, this is the right time to experiment with other platforms for releasing the movies. There are many movies that are ready to release but are shelved due to the lockdown, so many producers are releasing them on OTT platforms to cover their losses. Movies like “Gulabo Sitabo” and “Dil Bechara” are recent examples. But it’s a short term phenomenon, once the theaters open again, halls would be packed again as there are many movies lined up for the screening.
During the lockdown phase in India, some producers decided to release their movies directly on OTT platforms as the government is forced to put theaters at last in the priority list because of the rising cases in the country.
Multiplex owners were waiting for their cinema halls to reopen in this time of financial crisis, but now they are openly criticizing the move of producers. INOX, the largest multiplex chain, called out on the film industry for not standing by their partners. But these theater owners do have a point, so much money and time have been invested in the infrastructure, so much of employment opportunities have been generated through them. So, if this trend of OTT platforms continues, there will be a cause of worry. Due to the lockdown quarter of business and employment is already lost and now with the producers releasing their movies on OTT platforms will make the matter worse.
There’s no one to completely blame for this change of viewers’ choices. The lockdown period has made this “OTT vs Theaters” competition in the favor of OTT platforms. Nevertheless, this competition between the two has just begun and is not gonna end soon.
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