Things have been changing and challenging Bollywood dramatically ever since the television was introduced in India. With the coming up of multiple channels during the eighties producers felt threatened that it will indirectly make a huge impact on the Indian film industry and will affect box-office collections. Nonetheless, the industry not only survived but has been thriving. And now video streaming platforms are also being looked upon as a threat to the future of the film industry.
Will the OTT space gobble the business of Bollywood producers or similar to the television industry will these two flourish side-by-side offering more scope and choices to those interested in joining the entertainment field?
Coronavirus Menace Made Video Streaming Platforms More Relevant
When the shootings were suddenly called off and multiplexes and theaters forced to shut down in March this year like all other businesses and industries Bollywood too came to a standstill. It has been a bad phase for almost everyone from background dancers, daily wage workers to producers, technicians, and struggling actors.
Although Bollywood superstars did extend help to such strugglers, labors, and dancers, it has been a trying time for producers awaiting the release of their movies to get back their invested money. With theaters and multiplexes closed indefinitely and nagging of financers pressurizing them constantly, the producers felt trapped and eager to find a leeway.
Already, the last two years have seen a huge surge in the number of production houses moving towards OTT releases. From big stars like Abhishek Bachchan, Jacqueline Fernandez to Kiara Advani, and Nawazuddin Siddique today’s actors are now ready to embrace this change if they are creatively and monetarily satisfied adequately.
In times during lockdown when people were indoors, browsing for better content online, it was like a golden opportunity for video streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Netflix, ALTBalaji, and more. In the absence of Bollywood releases, people were just hooked to all video streaming platforms that offered amusement in diverse genres from mystery, action to romance, and humor.
Rise In Demand For Video Streaming Platforms Is Temporary
After releasing their regular contents back to back, these video streaming platforms in India started hunting for more. Producers pressed financially readily agreed to release their movies on the webspace much to the dismay of the exhibitors and film distributors. Even big movies like Akshay Kumar’s Laxmmi Bomb or Shoojit Sircar’s Gulabo Sitabo went the OTT way. In the span of two months during lockdown around 20 movies that were planned for the big screen were sold out to the web channels creating a panic among the distributors and theater owners.
But this seems to be a temporary phase as eventually when the theaters and multiplexes will open big producers and actors will be eager to release their flicks on the silver screen. It is because video streaming platforms cannot match the superior cinematic appeal that a theater release offers. Moreover, the impact of content when it comes to OTT release depends a lot on the source of display. It can be anything from a laptop, desktop, or smartphone. So the delivery of the content is compromised and so is its entertainment value.
Bollywood & Video Streaming Channels Can Thrive Together
Movies released in theater have all the latest technological support from right lighting, sound, and clarity and hence the effect is much more mesmerizing and long-lasting. Thus, the current phase of the boom in video streaming platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime is temporary and cannot affect the popularity of Bollywood movies. In the years to come similar to the television industry, both Bollywood and web channels will continue to thrive and grow which will be a win-win situation for everyone including the audience, stars, and producers.
New or producers low on cash, new actors, and directors can opt for OTT releases, establish themselves and then move further with Bollywood movies. Contrarily, the audience who want to enjoy the larger than life experience can go to theaters and those who want to stay at home and watch some meaningful content can pick up releases on video streaming platforms.