Recently OTT Platforms vs Theatres have been in the midst of the release of the film. Just a few days ago there was a film named ‘Gulabo Satabo’ which stars Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushman Khurana. Its producer has announced that his film will be released directly on Amazon Prime Video on June 12, i.e. it will not be released in the theatre.
So, this film was ready and they did not wait for theatres to open. So as this news came, then INOX which is a very large multiplex chain inside India released a press saying that you cannot do it in the name of film producers. There is a trend pattern that the film is always released in theatres first, a month or two after that it is released on TV and OTT platforms. In the same way, theatres are suffering a lot due to Covid-19 Pandemic. In such a situation, if you release the film directly, then it is a big thing for us. Due to this, the whole issue came in the news and now there are also reports that Amazon Prime has bought 7 big movies directly from the producer and these 7 films will be released on the platform in the coming time, one of which is also Akshay Kumar’s film ‘Lakshmi Bomb’. So those big movie stars are also releasing their films directly on OTT. Earlier films were also released on OTT but that was a simple art -films and small budget films.
Amazon Prime Video
But Covid-19 has changed everything and now there is a sort of tug of war between the producers and the exhibitors. Inox has heard those producers in a good way and this trend is seen not only in the Hindi film industry but also in many Tamil and Malayalam films like regional cinema. So, in the Tamil film industry too, 2 big films have been announced which will be released directly on Amazon Prime and also Tamil Nadu cinema owners have started threatening them, we will not release your upcoming films to the film stars a tussle is also running there.
Kollywood Tamil Cinema
Similar things are also coming to light about Malayalam film because now many content producers are directly adopting OTT platforms. Now the OTT platform is not a new trend in India. For the last 3-4 years, many big film stars have acted on OTT platforms, their web series has arrived.
Best OTT Services In India
The main OTT video streaming platform in India right now is Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Eros Now, Zee5, Disney +, Hotstar, MX Player, Sony Liv, Yupp TV, Voot, etc. which includes Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney +, all of which are USA companies. The company is from India. All these platforms are in use during Covid-19.
Now Netflix and Amazon Prime never make their numbers public but still, there are many surveys which look at usage, as the Nielsen Smartphone Panel report came out that they said that when they compare the end of the week, then in a week they Seen that 20% and 23% liked metro and non-metro cities.
Why are OTT Platforms Gaining Popularity?
The popularity of OTT platforms is growing in India, there are many reasons behind this, the first thing is there is a lot of choice and variety in the content. What happens in the film If I think I want to see the film in the theatre, then I can see 2-3 films that have been released on Friday. But here I will have the choice of thousands of films, so I can see whatever I want.
The second reason is that whenever a big-budget film is released in India, a film for the example was released in 2015 Bajrangi Bhaijaan on Eid. A week later, Masaan was released, most of the theatre multiplexes would be preferred Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Masaan had got very few shows, then Masaan did not go on any hit films, although it was later greatly appreciated. But who made the most money in 2015 Bajrangi Bhaijaan made. A film like Masaan in 2020, then it will go on 100% on the OTT platform.
There is a very large region behind this financial growth. First, OTT platforms offer that wherever you can watch videos, whether you travel on the train or sit at home or come to your bed and anywhere in the office, you can watch movies on mobile, Laptops, computers.
Secondly, the growth of OTT platforms in small cities which are Tier 2, Tier 3 cities have been very fast. Till a few months ago, it was such that most of the users were from metro cities because on these websites like Netflix, Amazon Prime you have to pay money for the month. In rural areas, they could not afford it.
But now as the Indian platforms come and what strategy they have adopted, they have kept many series free or some episodes are free, due to this the consumption of these web shows is increasing in small towns and villages.
Now the question is whether the experience of watching a movie in the cinema or theatre can change with the OTT platform. The experience of watching a movie in a theatre cannot change, as a lot of people are sitting here and watching the same thing, then a different emotional response comes and things are made for personal use on the OTT platform. If almost every person sees it on mobile or computer, then that feeling does not come there, so watching a movie in itself is a different experience on the big screen.
There are many big-budget films in India which are made in 50 crores and then the business is 200-300 crores. OTT platforms cannot afford this much money. That is why the Hindi film industry like Akshay Kumar or Ranveer Singh, their films have just been postponed, they will not come to the theatre, OTT is not going to be released on the platform.
So, now many producers are releasing their films on the OTT platform as they have short term financial pressure like whose film released in April, he has to spend his expenses, so he is distressed selling on the OTT platform. So, it is believed that both these medium cinema screens and OTT platforms will adjust to each other. Short films can go on the OTT platform but big-budget films will be financially viral only when they are released in theatres and in such cases whenever theatres open a month or two months later, they will have to take a variety of precautions. The film which is the association of theatres is now creating a guideline and submitting a guideline to the central government to allow them to open the cinema hall.
By the way, cinema and movie theatres have survived a lot. In the last 100 years, even after two world wars, cinema people kept going, when TV came in the 1950s, many people believed that now people will watch the film at home. After 2000, when the boom of the internet and piracy was seen, many people said that theatres will be completely closed, no one will go to see the film but people are leaving. After 2010, when smartphones came in big tablets, many people used to say that now everyone will see the film on the tab. But now with the OTT platform, it seems that when the cinema has done so much survival, then it will also survive the OTT.