Bollywood Digital Premieres Finding A New HotSpot – OTT Platforms

Hello, cinephiles! Waiting for the movie to launch? Waiting when will the theatres feel the heat up again? 

Well… 

OTT Platforms

The extreme negative repercussions of the ongoing pandemic lockdown have made it very difficult to see the theatres to be ‘Houseful’. 

But it has also proved to be a blessing in disguise! How?

The digital platforms (OTT) are here to derive a lot of advantage out of it! Given all the cinema halls and malls not being opened and no new shoots of the favorite television serials being initiated, people are left to binge-watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a lot of other platforms.  These are the source of entertainment! And, this is what made Bollywood to take an initiative to launch their film on these platforms! 

Also, experts believe that video streaming platforms are focusing on direct to digital releases because they have no new content to invest in. And, no way that they can entertain the public with something new, and swirl up a new wave in their content. So, they are focusing on a direct to digital release. 

And, already a few of the pictures have been launched! Like the Gulabo Sitabo of Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushman Khurana and Kargil, and now even Gujan Saxena is set to be premiered on the OTT platforms. 

The debate about whether it is viable for the films is over, as the OTT platforms have become the one thing that is best for the launch right now. 

The online platform for Zee Network, ZEE5 has registered a significant 80% rise in the subscription numbers! The originals grew by 200% and the movies grew by 236% respectively! 

And, it even grew more for the OGs in OTT platform - Amazon Prime, and Netflix.

What is OTT?

OTT refers to film and television content that is provided via high-speed internet connection. Basically, an OTT platform provides an application-based service that streams content directly on to the user’s device!

Amazon Prime, and Netflix

But the question is what about the video-streaming players which are buying these bigger films' rights and smaller films’ rights to stream the movie first on their platform?

Are they benefited in any way?

The ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ of Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushmann Khurrana was streamed on Amazon Prime Video first! The premiere rights were bought for INR 60-65 Crore, and the film’s budget was of INR 40-45 Crore. And, the Netflix bought Janhvi Kapoor’s Gunjan Saxena’s Kargil Girl!

And, the filmmakers still made a profit from both the movies, all because it was aired on the OTT platforms. People went crazy to watch Gulabo Sitabo on Amazon Prime. And, Amazon even claimed that it would air maximum premieres on its platform throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

And, for me, I think it would even continue even if the conditions get back to normal. Because people are getting used to the ‘New Normal’. They love the comfort of home more than anything else.

 Disney + Hotstar recently announced digital premieres of 7 films which include Laxmmi Bomb, and Ajay Devgn’s Bhuj. They have been bought for over INR 100 Crore. 

But the question still is persistent!

What is the reason behind ‘OTTs Spending on Digital Premieres’? 

Okay, the point here is ‘Going digital is very important for the time now! It is the future and the future is NOW!’ Video streaming platforms have nothing more and nothing new left to showcase, so their entire focus is on direct-to-digital releases as there is no new content to invest in! This was quoted by the research analyst and vice-president, Karan Taurani.  

They have to gain - 

  • New Subscribers. 
  • Keep the existing subscribers entertained. 
  • And, most importantly, make some profit out of this situation.

01. Production has Stopped and OTT Allows It:

Due to the halt in the production of web series, TV content, and even films as the cause of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. And, not only the shoot has been halted but some of the movies that were ready for the release have been stopped too! And, seeing the conditions and the signs of the entire nation getting back to normal slows down, the digital way is the only way to get back on track. 

OTT allows it! 

Production has Stopped and OTT Allows It

OTTs were not looking at the larger or the smaller films because of the high costs, they are paying a small markup of these films as there is no new content. The film industry is looking for launching the movies, and the OTT is looking for new content to be launched, and so BINGO! 

02. OTTs is Investing A Lot -

Prime Video, Disney Hotstar, and Netflix each of them have been investing a lot aggressively in India for original content. 

Netflix has invested Rs 3,000 crore for original Indian content.

Seeing this, OTTs have seen that the best time to indulge in the Bollywood industry and invest a lot and gain a lot too. 

03. Direct-to-Digital Releases Benefits All -

It is a two-fold strategy! As people have not been able to catch up on new movies due to the cinemas being locked down, and also to retain the existing subscribers who are a sports fan and have not been able to see anything. 

So, if anyone invests and gets addicted to the application for once, it will be a lifetime investment by the audience! And, this is the reason why platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime are investing in launching the premieres online. This will help them gain a good number of viewers/subscribers for the long-term. 

Big Ticket films or small budget films, everything will be lined up online! So, grab your popcorn, no need of buying a ticket, just buy the subscription and have the utmost entertainment at your home. 

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