- If one sector that could be rightly termed as sunrise sector potentially positioned to prove as no less than a game-changer over the past one year is the fast emerging medium of entertainment known as Over-The-Top (OTT) platform when other forms were shut down owing to the vagaries of the pandemic induced lockdowns. People so used to get entertained by visiting movie halls were rudely awakened to the deprivation of the mode on the back of stringent lockdown guidelines. Left with no alternative but to engage in viewing from the comforts of the home, the OTT platform emerged as an extremely viable option.
PC: Orly Ravid
- Needless to mention, the way the medium has been embraced by the entertainment deprived lot speaks volumes about the new world endowed with diverse content, grand canvas, a novelty in storytelling exploring unchartered territories, and of course, providing never experienced before genre catering to all age groups. Most importantly, the content is made available right from the television to the other modern instruments like laptops and smartphones. The consumer is left with an enviable platter of options to choose from to regale oneself.
- No wonder, the online streaming service in India is on a high growth trajectory and is earmarked to grow as the fastest growing vertical in the audio-visual sector that also includes film and television. Estimated at revenue of around Rs. 4,300 crore in FY 2019, OTT is estimated to register a growth of over 40% this year and 30% thereafter, to reach Rs. 17,400 crore by just 2024. Considering these figures from an MPA-Deloitte report was published before the effects of the lockdown were to be fully factored in, they could well be surpassed by actual performance taking into account the unbelievable acceleration seen since then.
PC: K. Sunil Thomas
- Delving deep into the fast-emerging medium and at a time when job creation is proving to be of critical priority to all concerned, the sector has opened up employment opportunities for lakhs of workers involved in production and post-production. Reports suggest an estimated 8.48 lakh Indian workers are directly employed by the audio-visual content industry growing to 26.62 lakh when one factor in the massive indirect employment opportunities generated through content creation and distribution.
- Note that one of the biggest beneficiaries is none other than scores of our world-renowned writers, directors, actors, and other ancillary professionals showcasing their immense high-quality talent to not only in the country but also to all those 200 countries glued to the medium enthusiastically consuming the streaming content with glee. However, growing instances of unauthorized censorship in the name of hurt sentiments, historical distortions, and misrepresentations from the overzealous lot will hurt the fledgling industry on the cusp of creating history. Sadly, moves are afoot to regulate the medium to suit Indian sentiments.
- Such a move would be counterproductive since we are at an inflection point for India’s streaming services, the envisaged regulatory environment will determine whether the promising sector lives up to its billing as the next big thing or becomes a tragic case of an opportunity wasted. Therefore, the authorities are advised to trade cautiously without killing the golden goose to impress upon the misguided few.