OTT platforms changing Landscape of Indian Cinema

In recent years, the Indian film industry has undergone significant changes in terms of its dynamics, with the emergence of new platforms and a shift towards regional cinema. The industry, which Bollywood once dominated, is now seeing a more diverse range of films being produced, distributed, and consumed.

Bollywood, which has traditionally dominated the Indian film industry, has seen a shift in its power dynamics. While big-budget films with star-studded casts continue to draw audiences, the rise of content-driven cinema has challenged the conventional formula of commercial success. Films like Pathaan, Tu joothi mai Makkar, and Drishyam 2 have received critical acclaim and have been commercially successful, indicating a growing appetite for unconventional storytelling.

OTT platforms

One of the most significant changes in the Indian film industry has been the emergence of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Hotstar. These platforms have revolutionized the way films are distributed and consumed, offering a more comprehensive range of content to audiences. With the increasing popularity of these platforms, many filmmakers are now choosing to release their films directly on OTT platforms rather than in theaters.

Rise of OTT

The rise of OTT platforms has also given a boost to regional cinema, with many regional films now finding a wider audience on these platforms. These platforms offer a variety of content, from mainstream Bollywood films to regional cinema and independent films. The pandemic-induced lockdowns and closure of theaters also boosted the demand for OTT platforms, leading to a surge in subscriptions and viewership. The emergence of OTT platforms has also opened up opportunities for new and diverse voices to enter the industry. Independent filmmakers and content creators are finding platforms to showcase their work and reach a wider audience, without the constraints of traditional distribution models.

The advent of OTT platforms has created avenues for fresh and varied perspectives to permeate the industry. Content creators and indie filmmakers are discovering outlets to exhibit their craft and connect with a broader viewership, free from the limitations of conventional distribution methods.

According to the latest EY-FICCI Indian Media and Entertainment Report, digital streaming platforms have surpassed film entertainment and have now become the third-largest sector in the Indian Media and Entertainment industry as of 2019. The emergence of streaming services has been rapid, and as a result, OTT platforms are viewed as the future of India’s Media and Entertainment industry.

Reason behind this Growth in the Indian OTT Industry

The Indian OTT industry is highly competitive.  There are many platforms like Hotstar, ZEE5, Amazon Prime, and Netflix invest heavily in high-quality, diverse, and original content.  Movie production houses have turned to OTT platforms for film releases due to the closure of cinemas and malls.  High-profile movies have immediate releases on these platforms despite the pandemic.

OTT and Bollywood

In India, movies, particularly Bollywood, have a significant impact on society, making it a weak-link due to its power and influence.

In the earlier days, when real business people funded Bollywood, stories mattered. However, after the arrival of the open market and expansion of India’s economy, everything changed.  Bollywood found new “superstars” as the underworld took control of Mumbai. Bollywood transformed from art to business.  It  created specific personalities like Shahrukh Khan for romance, Salman Khan for action, and Amir Khan for intelligence.

Despite Bollywood’s power in controlling the nation’s mood, the arrival of OTT platforms has resurrected the Indian movie industry and society. Releasing Bollywood from the superstar phenomenon would mean a lot for India.

Overall, the changing dynamics of Bollywood, regional films, and the rise of OTT platforms have ushered in a new era of Indian cinema. The industry is becoming more diverse, inclusive, and innovative, reflecting the changing tastes and demands of Indian audiences.


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