“OTT” is a word that has made a buzz in the entrainment industry in the past few years. Before 2020 the OTT platforms are struggling in India because a large portion of the audience prefers watching movies in theatres. But after the pandemic started, all the theatres need to shut their operation with immediate effect. At that time people were locked in their homes and looking for an option for entertainment. And they started consuming digitally published content. All the online content serving platforms identify this need quickly and start publishing movies, web series, and short videos. In no time they gained immense popularity and this arises the discussion of which is better in the battle of ott vs theatre.
The online platform published the content in a more realistic and details way which was warmly accepted by the. But here the problem arises since no one has authority over them so things are being circulated over these platforms in the name of creative freedom and freedom of speech. There are hundreds of videos published that were removed because they are hurting the beliefs, sentiments, and values of people.
What is OTT?
“Over the Top” is the full name of OTT. It means serving the content using digital or internet streaming channels. Unlike theatres here, the makers use the online platform to deliver their work directly to the users. Most people think that online video serving platforms are known as OTT but that’s not the case. All the platforms delivering their content over the internet come under the umbrella of OTT. For example, Audio streaming platforms –savan, spotify, wynk is also part of OTT. All of us using Youtube for more than a decade it is also a type of OTT platform so OTT is not that is new but in recent years it start getting attention.
Stats of Theatre and OTT
- OTT Video segment market value is projected to reach US$275.30bn in 2022 globally.
- Video Streaming is the largest segment in OTT with a market value of US$1.07bn.
- It is estimated that the user base of over-the-top platforms will grow from 24% to 31% in the next couple of years.
- The average revenue per user is approximately US$7.60 in 2022 and is expected to grow by 20% in the next year.
- The Indian digital media market will reach a valuation of 430 billion INR in 2022.
- Amazon prime is the largest ott platform around the globe with 22% users while in India disney+hotstar is leading with 30% users.
- According to reports from economicstimes.com“A user spends 70 minutes daily of the ott platforms. “
- In 2022 almost 55 million users are paid users and by the end of 2023, this number will touch the 60million milestone.
- The Indian theater market will generate a revenue of 260 billion rupees in 2023. while OTT will able to generate a revenue of 54 billion by the end of 2023.
- IPL streaming rights are the biggest ott deal till now. Viacom 18 will have to pay 93 crores INR for streaming every IPL game.
- Avenger end game collected US$2.503bn which makes it the highest grossing movie of all time.
OTT – Advantages
- OTT platforms provide the flexibility to watch. Users can enjoy the content according to their preferences.
- The cost of a monthly subscription to a single ott platform is around 149 INR to 199 INR. And it’s a cheaper and cost-effective option in front of theatres.
- The quality of content published on OTT is increasing with each day passing.
- Over-the-top platforms have the advantage of duration over the theatre and they can deliver every aspect in a more detailed way. The average web series duration is around 7-9 hours while for a movie it’s around 2.5 to 3 hours.
- OTT is a more suitable option for all working professionals in comparison to the theatre.
Disadvantages of OTT
- Online platforms collect information about users like their name, email, and payment details and there is a potential risk of a data breach. In October 2021 a Netflix employee leaked sensitive information about the users.
- Online platforms do not have a regulation or censorship body and some makers use this loophole unethically. In name of creative liberty and freedom of speech, they published content that is hurting the sentiment, value and beliefs of people. Web series named “Tandav” faced a boycott due to making fun of lord shiva.
- OTT platforms are promoting nudity, sexual content, abusive language, and brutal violence.
- Online platforms are providing a vast range of content that can make a user addicted.
- Spending more time on screen can make people less social and also impact their health negatively.
Pros of Theatres
- As of now, only theatres can provide the real immersive experience of graphics and VFX. They offer unmatchable audio and video quality which one can not witness on ott platforms.
- Theatres provide direct and indirect employment to many people. For example, staff working in theatres are getting jobs because people are coming to watch movies.
- Theatres have a censor board so all the movies are first seen by the board and they give movie certificates accordingly. Sometimes board cut some scenes or also banned the movie if it violated any of the policies of the censor board. And board ensures that the content of a movie is not promoting nudity, abusiveness, violence, or religious hate.
- Theaters make people more social reason being hundreds of people watch a movie together.
- The reach and impact of theatre are far better than the ott content. And that is the reason despite the covid 19, poor content and tough competition from ott the Indian theatre market achieved 260 billion revenue which is 5 times more than ott revenue.
Cons of Theatre
- Poor and the same repetitive content is being released at Indian Theatre for the last couple of years.
- For watching a movie a person need to pay around 250 to 300 rupees in small towns. talking about multiplex ticket in big cities the price touch the 500rs mark after including taxes.
- Unlike the OTT a user has to watch the movie for 3 hours and they can not skip to the good part. And it sometimes makes the overall experience boring.
- When it comes to sources of daily entertainment the OTT platform is the winner. Also, Theater won’t give freedom to choose content according to the preferences. Like if someday you want to watch comedy videos you can search and watch them.
Which one is Better OTT or Theatre?
Finally! after reading all the arguments of both sides we have come to the point which is better in the battle of Ott vs theatre. Yes! in the last few years ott platforms have outclassed the theatre in every aspect. Web series like – Family Man, Gullak, Panchayat, and Asur are some of the masterpieces of OTT work. But Bollywood is the largest movie producer in the world and in terms of valuation it is 5 times bigger than OTT. Also, theatre delivers movies that are purely for entertainment and does not hurt anyone’s sentiment. If it happens there is regulating body to control this. While some ott platforms are openly promoting nudity, sexual and religious harmful content.
Both the platforms have their own flaws and benefits but in the end, what matters the most is content. Despite all the competition from OTT some films like – Kashmiri files, KGF2, and RRR are able to perform brilliant reason being the content offered by these movies. The audience will always love the platform which makes their time, money, and efforts countable no matter whether it is from OTT or theatre.