Movies and cricket, it is said, are like religion in India. In a nation where film stars are worshipped like demigods and people make a beeline for the latest film releases, a new dimension has been added with the advent and growth of over-the-top (OTT) or digitally-streamed content. The biggest names in the business worldwide, from Amazon to Netflix, are now vying for a share of the audience with the likes of Hotstar, ALTBalaji, and Zee5 not just streaming the latest blockbusters but also spending lavishly on original content to woo the viewer, millennials in particular.
This first-ever Show Business special from Fortune India aims at capturing these emerging trends in the fast-growing entertainment industry, whether it is cinema, streaming, audio or even multiplexes. The massive growth in the entertainment sector has meant that film actors are no longer just performers. They are brands with a massive value attached to them, with the biggest companies lining up to get them to endorse a range of products. Sample this: The latest ‘Celebrity Brand Valuation Report’ by consulting firm Duff & Phelps pegs actor Deepika Padukone’s brand value in 2018 at a staggering $102.5 million. Padukone is the biggest movie star brand and No. 2 on the list just after Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.
For this collector’s issue on entertainment, Fortune India’s journalists looked at several aspects of the entertainment world to bring you stories not just of some of the biggest movie star brands—Ranveer Singh (brand value $63 million), Amitabh Bachchan ($41.2 million), and Alia Bhatt ($36.5 million) who we feature in this issue—but also of the latest developments in show business. If the battle in the OTT space is turning more interesting by the day, with even large movie producers like Eros International coming up with their own plans to take on giants Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and Netflix, this also means a great opportunity for newer writers, directors, cinematographers and others associated with the entertainment industry to showcase their talent.
The other big trend being witnessed in the entertainment space is the emergence of edgy, contemporary content. With relatively smaller budget movies like Stree, Badhaai Ho, and Andhadun becoming huge hits at the box office, the definition of what constitutes a successful movie has changed. No longer is a blockbuster, headlined by the biggest stars, a guarantee for box-office success, as the recent failure of some big budget movies such as Thugs of Hindostan has shown. Indian audiences, now exposed to the finest in global entertainment through streaming channels, are hungry for genuine, quality content. Welcome to a whole new world.