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Guest column:There is no dearth of quality content, the only thing lacking is the right platform: Subin Subaiah, Spuul

17-January-2018
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Guest column:There is no dearth of quality content, the only thing lacking is the right platform: Subin Subaiah, Spuul

Friday. It’s the most important day of the week for both cinema goers, and movie makers. The weekend that follows makes or breaks the movie’s box office aspirations, and to an extent also decides how long it will run for in cinemas. This, in turn, decides how long it will be before the film comes on television, free to view, for all.

This gap is steadily but surely fading.

Mandated digitization, exponential growth of smartphone users and advent of 4G is changing the entertainment landscape like never before. Smartphone penetration in India is expected to grow to 520 mn by 2020, making India one of the largest smart phone economies in the world. Broadband penetration will increase from 14%s today to 40% by 2020. The rapid up-take of connected devices and broadband connectivity will be instrumental in media consumption shifting beyond traditional media formats such as broadcast and cable TV towards digital mediums.

Creating content has never been easier. Today, anyone with an idea, a story, a phone or a camera can make a movie, and a really good one at that! The dream is no more un-achievable. However, what after that? Once the dream is achieved, film is made – then where does one head to? Because, till now, exhibiting and distributing independent films has largely been an unorganized segment. It still is a market where big names and monopoly of those names sell.

There is no dearth of quality content out there, the only thing lacking is the right platform. Many a times, a film doesn’t get the release and response it deserves, for multiple reasons. This is where OTT platforms step into the picture. Our patrons are cinema lovers, and it’s not only limited to commercial blockbusters. As service providers, it is our duty to provide them with not only the most popular, but also the most well-made cinema, even the films they may not always have access to.

We have heard news of Martin Scorsese making a movie for Netflix, Brad Pitt just appeared in a movie called “War Machine” which was for Netflix only. Now this is a very encouraging trend. Back


home we have many OTT platforms which are giving a new lease of life to many


brilliant films. Rajat Kapoor’s critically acclaimed “Aankhon Dekhi” released on Spuul along with its theatrical release, and got terrific traction. This starts a new happy trend for independent filmmakers and cinema. In this new trend the best filmmakers won’t necessarily be working exclusively toward a big theatrical release any longer.
However, not just independent/indie, OTT platforms are great life givers of block-busters and big budget films, alike. For example – “Prem Ratan Dhan Payo” and “Jab Harry met Sejal”- after the theatrical run of these two movies, on the big screen, on OTT platforms these two are still faring great. Watch on leisure and watch on the go is the mantra of this generation. They are not in a hurry to catch the next release in theatres, and at the same time they are always looking up reviews of latest movies, following actors on social media, all just to be kept in the loop of what’s going on. In such a scenario, OTT platforms are the answer to all the questions being posed at the entertainment industry. It is the go to thing, and if you have great content, OTT platforms will lap it up and it give it a much longer shelf life.

It’s safe to say, everyday could be Friday, with OTT platforms racing to bring the latest, and the best content to their viewers. Evergreen classics, indie films, new releases – they’re all there in one place and catered to a users’ specific taste & viewing habits. Today, the best way to get people to watch a movie is to tell them that they can stream it right away without having to put on their pants! In so many ways, VOD has made it a lot easier for people to fall in love with cinema, and that’s the whole point. Right?
Subin Subaiah is the Global CEO, Spuul.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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