Aside from the magical experience, movie theaters provide employment to millions of skilled and unskilled workers, unlike OTT platforms that mainly employ skilled workers.

In this complex reshaping world of coronavirus, OTT platforms have revolutionized the entire entertainment industry. The tired world has moved from theaters to OTT platforms and events to social media, for recreation and entertainment.

What started as a necessity has now become an addiction. The urban population now enjoys streaming varied content from the comfort of their homes in just a few clicks and the trend is slowly permeating the rural bustle with the availability of high speed internet, spiritual content and content in regional languages. Regardless, in 2021 alone, minutes of content consumed on OTT platforms jumped from 181 billion to 204 billion, and platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar, and others became wildly popular during these two years of unprecedented incarceration.

Additionally, a shift to OTT platforms has given space and recognition to unique, diverse, and high-quality content that sells itself. OTT challenges filmmakers and artists to produce eye-catching content as the OTT platforms provide endless options for users in just a few clicks, making quality over quantity a necessity. Unlike the usual television series, OTT has made available countless genres for a seamless experience for the viewers. In any case, both filmmakers and users are happy with OTT platforms as the new alternative for watching movies in the cinema.

However, as the world begins to move into pre-pandemic conditions, cinemas are expected to be back in the game after two brutal years, but they need to prepare to live up to expectations. There is no doubt that the cinema offers a larger-than-life experience that cannot be easily replicated by OTT platforms even in the comfort zone. Movie theaters must make an effort to monumentalize the theatrical experience, screen size, sound quality and atmosphere to keep viewers interested. To add the last pinch of salt to this experience, most movies of recent times can be lived in 3D and 4D formats, unlike at home.

But one thing is clear: OTT has pushed cinemas to think uniquely, make more choices in plot, visuals, casting and produce quality content that promotes the real talent of actors rather than nepotism and huge star-studded films. with boring scripts. Therefore, a clear shift from commercial/major star moves has now been replaced by content-driven movies. Even to date, India is an underexposed country, multiplexes need to focus on increasing their audience by venturing into smaller towns and villages.

That’s why movies often act as a collective social experience that people use to meet their friends, family and acquaintances. However, in order to match OTT platforms filled with breathtaking content, theaters need to create irresistible content in order to compete. Aside from the magical experience, movie theaters provide employment to millions of skilled and unskilled workers, unlike OTT platforms that mainly employ skilled workers.

Another discouraging reason for going to the cinema has been the exponential prices of ticket prices and food items in multiplexes, which must be taken into account to re-entice viewers to the cinema. Moreover, the sources of income in an OTT platform are limited compared to movies where filmmakers make huge profits by releasing movies abroad as well.

My conclusion, as an entrepreneur, would be that while OTT platforms will continue to capitalize on a large online consumer base, people’s love and craze for the magical theater experience will never go away. With nothing left to prove, the new era of digitization is definitely boosting the OTT industry, but that doesn’t mean they can replace the theater experience. Perhaps a symbiotic relationship between OTT and cinema is a win-win for both.

(The author is a producer and founder of ROL-BOL. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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