Theatres To OTT: COVID 19 has brought about many changes; positive or negative is left to the experience. And the cinema is no exception to the current dynamics of the world.
Many people even before the pandemic have had at least a tryst with digital streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But never before has a movie been released and viewed on these platforms exclusively.
For the relationship between the moviegoers, the producers and the distributors can be called ancient and loyal, which has been put to the test in these difficult times.
The emergence of OTT as a medium of cinema
OTT an abbreviation to Over-the-top is a disruptive development in the movie industry. Emerged as an outcome of the demand of the changing lifestyle of the moviegoers, OTT has appeared as a practical solution.
OTT is a streaming service that broadcasts movies, shows and other media services via the internet and satellite television. Hence these have made the media experience exceptionally convenient, with just a device, internet connection and time as per the viewer’s schedule.
Many factors have made OTT popular among entertainment lovers. Some of those can be:
The penetration of smartphones and smart devices into not only the urban scene but also the rural scenes have been the largest contributor to the acceptance of the OTT platforms.
- Affordable internet access is another factor that has helped OTT’s as an emerging medium of cinema.
- And a recent development is the pandemic situation that has forced the shut-down of the crowded theatres leaving no choice but to adopt these platforms for entertainment.
- Rapid digitalization and changing lifestyles are also a reason for the growing popularity of OTT as a movie-watching medium.
Considering the factors mentioned above that are the significant contributors to the acceptance of the OTT platforms, it is no wonder that many big names of the movie industry are turning to this digital platform.
Let Us Understand The Theatres And The Distributor’s Perspective:
The only losing side of this development is the theatres and the movie distributors. For as long as the cinema existed, the success of it thrived on the relationship between the movie makers and the distributors that helped carry the cinemas to the audience.
The distributors and the theatre management expected their support during these critical times in the form of producers opting to wait for their respective movie releases till the theatres are open.
Since this was not what happened, many top theatre managements have openly expressed their discontent.
Now the future of the cinema experience is unpredictable with the nature of the pandemic and the irrevocable crack that appeared in the relationship dynamics that are the supporting pillars in the movie industry.
OTT Vs Theatre: Audience Perspective
It is inevitable that this conflict finally comes down to the actual supporters of the movies, the audience. While the OTT’s have been widely accepted among the movie lovers, there are still a substantial number of people who prefer to watch the movies in theatres.
The theatre is not just for the sake of watching the movie but also for the experience. Even with such availability of convenience, the people are still going for the theatres for a few movie experiences are complete and feel contended by watching them only at the theatres.
A bowl of popcorn and a bottle of coke in each hand, the thrill of the dark auditorium and the feeling of solidarity even among hundreds is the thing that OTT cannot replicate.
As the people that are successfully surviving the pandemic, let us hope that both OTT’s and theatre find a middle ground and survive this conflict.