Consumers empowered by quality content from OTTs: ZEE5
At a time when Bollywood has been gripped by a series of dismal performances at the Box Office—there have been a few outliers though, Brahmastra being the most recent one, thanks to the film's distinguishing VFX play; various industry observers have hinted at the possible explosion in growth of OTT (over-the-top) platforms as one of the reasons steering a sea-change in audience consumption patterns and the consequent lack of interest in theatrical films that perhaps have nothing distinct to offer. After all, OTT platforms have given audiences the option of choosing from a wide expanse of content from across the world from the convenience of their homes. Manish Kalra, chief business officer at video OTT firm ZEE5 India, says that consumers have been empowered by a plethora of good quality content which has come on the OTTs in the last two and a half years. “Their expectations from entertainment have evolved because they have seen much more complex stories with multiple layers unfolding on OTTs,” says Kalra. And it is not just in the vivid portrayal of characters and the deft presentation of stories that make OTTs stand out in terms of content, platforms have equally strived to ensure that the quality of production, VFX and other related aspects are up to the mark. “….so, somewhere consumers become more demanding, the consumers become more empowered, the consumer has a lot of choice to make between good quality content being available on various online platforms. The expectation from consumers is that they need to have a plethora of choices across genres which OTT enables them,” says Kalra.
Besides, the evolution of home entertainment gadgets like big sized connected TVs, good quality home theatres coupled with the penetration of high speed internet has enabled consumers to get good experiences sitting at home. “There are a lot of people in India who are not exposed to OTTs and who are coming into the kitty right now. The penetration of OTT is still very little at some 80 million subscriptions and 40 million subscribers. The numbers are obviously going to grow,” says Kalra.
Kalra says people appreciate and want to see more real, relatable stories “which connect with the cultural cord.” “Real, relatable stories really work well. As we get more relatable stories with cultural connect, (the reach of) OTTs will expand in tier two, three regions,” says Kalra.