Growth of OTT Platforms in India

OTT platforms in India
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Growth of OTT platforms in India” is tremendous after the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Covid-19 impacts the overall ecosystem of the Indian film industry. 

According to the KPMG report in 2018, the OTT market supposed to grow at the rate of 45% by 2023. 

OTT subscribers will cross 500 million by 2023. Due unexpected hit of Covid-19, Indians understand the importance of Covid-19 on a large basis. 

“Growth of OTT platforms in India” is now depends on Bollywood content too. 

Let’s try to understand the relationship between OTT and Bollywood after Covid-19.

What is Over the Top (OTT)  

An over-the-top (OTT) media service is nothing but Video or Voice on the specific platform. .

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the Indian film industry. 

Film producers or filmmakers has impatient to wait for the end of the lockdown, a group of filmmakers have decided to take their movies to video streaming platforms instead of queuing up for theatrical release when theatres reopen.

It is the first factor in favor of “Growth of OTT platforms in India”

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Among the titles finalized are director is Shoojit Sarkar’s Amitabh Bachchan- and Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Gulabo Sitabo, whose rights have been acquired by Amazon Prime Video, and Akshay Kumar-starrer Laxmi Bomb, whose co-producers Fox Star Studios will stream the horror-comedy on their own service Disney+Hotstar, according to people familiar with the development.

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There are also several titles still under negotiation, including Vidya Balan-starrer Shakuntala Devi-Human Computer, Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Durgavati, Karan Johar’s Gunjan Saxena-The Kargil Girl featuring Jahnvi Kapoor, two more Amitabh Bachchan films, Jhund and Chehre, and Anurag Basu-directed Ludo starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aditya Roy Kapur.

Production company T-Series is reportedly in talks with Netflix for its entire 2020 slate, which includes Kiara Advani-starrer Indu Ki Jawani. 

“Growth of OTT platforms in India” is based on the good content and OTT platforms are offering good enough amount to purchase it.

Amazon, Disney, and the producers of these movies did not respond to Mint’s queries but Chehre producer Anand Pandit confirmed that a digital release is being considered.

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“Tentpoles such as Sooryavanshi and ’83 are anyway out of reach for OTTs (because digital sales will not help recoup their ₹100 crore plus budgets) and they will push people to theatres whenever they reopen. 

There are few production houses which would anyway have been second to the biggies, that these platforms are picking up now,” a producer negotiating for his own film said on condition of anonymity.

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It is reported that T-Series is in talks with Netflix for its entire 2020 slate, which includes Kiara Advani-starrer Indu Ki Jawani and black comedy Chhalaan.

In terms of numbers, it is notable that while a film such as Gulabo Sitabo would normally sell for INR 20-25 Cr to a digital platform post-theatrical release, easily recovering its INR 25 Cr budget, its producers are now in a position to command more, possibly in excess of INR 30 Cr.

Further, experts have noted that since streaming platforms come with annual allocated budgets, acquisition prices cannot shoot up astronomically. 

It is suggested that OTT’s reduce the number of films being acquired and pay more for coveted titles.

However, it is to be noted that this will be a mid-to-long-term investment for the streaming services who will not be able to monetize movies instantly.

OTT platforms in India

“Growth of OTT platforms in India” is crucial to both for Bollywood and OTT Platforms, which has so far stuck to the eight-week window between theatrical and digital release as well as services such as Amazon that have only picked up films with theatrical validation. 

Vijay Subramaniam, director and head of content at Amazon Prime Video India, said in an earlier interview that theatricals release is also plays an important role and it impacts the decision to pick up the right movies.

These are signs of changing times and, in some cases, the filmmakers have an edge.  

So, while a film such as Gulabo Sitabo would normally sell for ₹20-25 crore to a digital platform post-theatrical release, easily recovering its ₹25 crore budget, its producers are now in a position to command more, possibly in excess of ₹30 crores.

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“Even streaming platforms come with annual allocated budgets so acquisition prices cannot shoot up astronomically,” said Atul Mohan, editor of trade magazine Complete Cinema. 

What services can do is reduce the number of films they acquire but pay more for coveted titles, especially those contemplating opting out of the theatrical race. 

Raising  the subscription rate is not seen as an option in India. 

“All services know India is a price-sensitive market and the average consumer will definitely not be able to pay much more,” Mohan said, referring to the fact that this will be a mid-to-long-term investment for the streaming services who will not be able to monetize on the movies instantly.

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