Over The Top (OTT) platforms are on-demand content streaming services which provide the viewers access to movies and TV shows directly through the internet rather than using broadcasting mediums like cable TV, satellite TV etc. Some of the most common OTT platforms are NETFLIX, AMAZON PRIME VIDEO, HOTSTAR etc. The spontaneous boom of OTT platforms happened out of the blue when people were forced to stay back at their homes during lockdowns imposed due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. The major advantage of OTT services over the traditional platforms is the convenience of watching favourite shows at our fingertip within the comforts of our home at a reasonable cost.
Recent reports have shown that the OTT platforms promises the low budget films with less saleable names, a larger audience with a considerable slashed cost on advertisement and distribution. With the shutdown of movie theatres, OTT releases of latest movies became a new trend. In view of the rapidly increasing consumers, the OTT platforms have now shifted their focus onto creating contents on their own meeting the varying demands and tastes of its viewers.
The discourse on positioning the OTT streaming platforms and theatres is a present-day development in the entertainment sector. Cinema being one of the worst hit industries during the pandemic found itself in a greater challenge of sustenance. The effect nudged to the surface by this crisis was evenly handed for both the movie lovers and film industrial workers. This opens the door to the heroic entrance of OTT platforms saving both parties, granting industry the monetary benefits and viewers a platform to entertain themselves within their homely comforts at an affordable rate which propounds a win-win situation. Having said that, the inaccessibility of the OTT services to a large mass counts as the worst part as it is the working middle class people, the so called majority consumers, who contribute to more than 75% of the viewership leaving the rest 25% to decide between poor, lower middle class and elites. The OTT results in the shutting down of entertainment to the unfortunate for whom technology is still a luxury.
OTT platforms are never a newly discovered competition for theatres as they have lived through the worst times and challenges during VCRs, DVDs and the still relevant piracy days. This testifies the unending interest people carry for the theatrical experiences and any alteration is beyond thought. Though the OTT media services are propelled by the rise in the standard of living, evolution of smartphones, and affordable internet connectivity; socialising and community viewing experience from theatres will remain unmatched. Moreover, the real like involvement offered by big screens is something the streaming platforms can never tone with . In conclusion, OTT platforms can coexist with the theatres but never top it.