Some may reminisce about their experiences in the cinema halls, immersing themselves in the big screen and the salted popcorns while some may have already barred themselves and moved on from the experience as consumer feedbacks hinted towards the increasing viewership of the OTT (over-the-top) platforms during the frequent and prolonged lockdowns.
Going to the cinemas and sharing pictures of tickets with the benign words “First day, first show” on social media, has become a thing of the past now. OTT platforms have revolutionized the way people view ‘entertainment and cinemas’. Everything is one click away and at much cheaper rates.
OTT platforms are all the rage, now. Amazon and Netflix have a reach to 190 countries. These platforms cater to the ‘urgent needs of the audience to be entertained and informed through readily available documentaries. These platforms also offer original series and movies that win hearts and attention than any superhit Bollywood film.
For this reason, many film and series producers, predominantly, choose to launch their ‘art pieces’ on the OTT platforms, nowadays. Indian OTT players like Hotstar, Zee5, Sony Liv, and MX Player also compete in engaging their audiences in a rollercoaster of emotions through the wide variety of shows and movies easily available in the respective countries portals.
What makes the OTT platforms so engaging? First of all, it provides the users with a wide range of content choices in contrast to the pre-OTT ‘era’. Comedy, action, thriller, horror; one may wish any genre and one may quickly browse through the options and start binge-watching. And, the most important thing that makes OTT platforms so convenient is their ability to fit in our daily hectic life schedule. The choice to watch according to one’s convenience at any given time and place is what makes it more remarkable.
One good aspect of these portals is that they have also boosted the regional content which earlier was not in the spotlight and has a limited audience. We are witnessing the growing advent of many shows and movies in regional languages like Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Assamese, Telugu etc that people across the country can watch. These further facilities the purpose of educating people about cultural diversities and representing sentiments of various communities.
One can, also, look beyond Netflix and Amazon for heartfelt content to various regional web platforms. One can tune in to “Hoichoi” for Bengali contents with English subtitles, “Aha” for Telugu, Sun NXT for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali. Hyderabad-based “Reeldrama” Production will help quench the thirst for Assamese old and contemporary films alike, web series and other shows.
Also read: Movies to be back in action on Independence weekend with cinema hall reopening in Delhi with 50% capacity
The ‘average’ audience has changed and their interests are evolving. People can now easily access to far superior range of programmes in the safety of their homes. The OTT platforms, also, however, exclude a large majority of the film-viewing population.
People in remote areas, without an internet connection and the monthly subscription fees restrict potential viewers from experiencing cinemas and entertainment during this dire situation. Economic disparity in the country is such, some unfortunate people are not ‘subscribed’ even to the necessities.
The streaming world we’re entering into is, one way or another, considered a norm forced on to us by the Covid-19 pandemic; we spent hours staring into the screens of our mobile phones that is sure to, further, lead us into health complications.
Humans are social beings; in need of social interaction and fresh open air. The moment the pandemic will cease to exist, going to the cinema halls will once again become a thrilling and endearing experience shared with friends and family and accessible to all. Cinema halls will continue to thrive for it has always been about the airy and experience lived and loved.