OTT vs Theatre: The Future of Cinemas in India

OTT vs Theatre: No doubt OTT market is a game-changer for the Indian film industry. The impact of OTT on Indian Cinema already crossed it levels and now it has become the major threat to theaters in India. Yes we have to agree that OTT platforms are a bigger threat to Theater owners, exhibitors and distributors. But on the other side producers are truly blessed with the OTT platforms, their high pay offers to the digitalrights has become one more earning source for the film producers especially in regional languages like Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam.

OTT vs Theatre

How OTT’s are affecting Theater culture? Can we able to stop the negative impact of OTT on Cinema? Now let’s have a look into all the major factors that are creating threat to the Cinemas culture in India.

Are the OTT platforms a threat to Theatres in India?

In India OTT platforms have already seen a rapid growth in the last 2 years. Still majority of the film producers have been relied on OTT platforms to showcase their content. Moreover, OTT have become one of the major platforms to prove their talent for majority of the new filmmakers and debut actors we have in the industry. Locally prominent OTT platforms like Hoichoi, Aha Video, SonyLiV and the upcoming Govt owned OTT, CSpace all are inviting fresh talents to showcase their talent and reach more people in the Indian states.

All these points looks fine when we are talking about the benefits or uses of OTT platforms but the major question is arising now, i.e., theaters are seeing less footfalls over the last 1 to 2 years and many of the reports and stats claiming that it is the negative Affect of OTT on Enetrtainment industry. We all know that Theaters have become part and parcel of life. Producers will be in profits only with Theater release and it is the only destination for the film celebrities to survive in the industry. And moreover Theater will make actors as Stars and Overnight Stars and it is impossible with other platforms. Exhibitors, Distributors and Single Theater owners in the South Indian states majorly seeing losses due to of the quick release of the film on OTT platforms without any certain timeline. Let;s have a look at the Affects of OTT platforms on Theaters.

Direct OTT Releases and Uncertainty of Pandemic

Many of the producers during the pandemic have chosen non-theatrical release since there was no other option left before them. Even though the Heroes disappointed and reluctant for direct OTT release, after seeing the financial conditions of producers, heroes also okay-ed for this. It took some time for the Distributors and Theater owners to have understood the situation and was gracious enough to accept considering the problems of the producers. And also the leading Heroes and director too understood producers problems and accepted their request. Bu now there is no problem for producers because we are out of the uncertainty But still if some of the big movies releasing on OTT’s will become a problem.

Major Affects of OTT Platforms on Theaters

While theatre owners allege OTT releases will affect their business, producers are stressing that it will protect many small producers from going bankrupt. Below is the list of major negative impacts of OTT on Theaters.

  • Earlier movies used to run for more than 100 Days when they becomes Super Hit. Now even the Blockbuster movies not even sustain for more than 30 Days. Recent Example is RRR, the movie finished its screening before its OTT release on ZEE5 and Netflix after its 50th day
  • Movies are releasing on OTT platforms before the distributors recovery not completes at the Box office
  • Exhibitors and Single Theater Owners are in a big trouble with the early release of films on OTT
  • Single Theater owners in the rural areas closing the theaters due to of no single footfall for many movies after its 1st week
  • Big producers have become greedy for the OTT offers
  • Filmmakers make gains on OTT platforms, leave theatres in the lurch
  • The price of a movie ticket rate is about Rs.150, with this Rs.150/- its very easy for a common-man to subscribe for a OTT platform and watch any no.of movies for the whole month.
  • The introductory offers of OTT platforms making big trouble for the theater owners

Does OTT’s Really Helping small budget films?

We all know, producers are stressing that direct OTT Release of small budget films when they getthe great offers is fine and it will protect many small producers from going bankrupt. But on the other side, the theatre owners alleges releasing movies on OTT platforms will affect their business.

Recently in Tamil Nadu, one of the medium budget film ‘Ponmagal Vanthal’ was not released due to the lockdown and released directly on Amazon Prime Video. The film’s producer Suriya had already signed a deal with the OTT platform before the agetations of theater owners on the film and Suriya. But the producer suriya knows that If the movie was not given to them on time as per the agreement, he would incur loss. So in order to save from loss, the film was released on OTT. However, the exhibitors and distributors later understood the conflict and matter was settled.

Can we able to stop the negative impact of OTT on Cinema?

Yes, we can able to stop the negative impact of OTT on Cinema with a timeline chart that should made mandatory for every small and big movie in the industry.

Big Movie with Flop Talk: A big movie should complete at least 30 Days to have a OTT Release and Exhibitors, Distributors should given a chance to check with their theater owners to retrospect the recovery

Small Movie with Flop Talk: A small movie should complete atleast 20 days before its OTT Release

Big Movie with Super Hit Talk: A big movie with Super hit talk should complete at least 50 Days to have a OTT Release and Exhibitors, Distributors should be given a chance to check with the theater owners to retrospect the recovery rate

Small Movie with Super Hit Talk: A small movie should complete atleast 30 days before its OTT Release

Like these producers, distributors, exhibitors and single theater owners should do a retrospection of previous losses and take the actions accor

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