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OTT VS Movie Theatre: The Perspective of Romil Ramgarhia

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OTT VS Movie Theatre: The Perspective of Romil Ramgarhia

November 17
06:00 2021

In today’s digital world, we have the flexibility to consume content anywhere and anytime. With easy access to various online mediums, it is favorable for us to watch movies and entertainment shows even from the comfort of the bedroom. However, it brings along an important question- “When was the last time you went to a movie theatre?”  

The debate regarding direct-to-digital release had started a massive rift in the film industry. During the lockdown period, most producers decided to release their movies on the OTT platforms rather than the big screen. The theatres were closed, which is why the decision favored logical and monetary factors.

But our curiosity kept on peaking.   

Does this mean that digital content viewership will supplant the trend of movie theatres, and it will lose its sheen?  

The Big Change: Through the Eyes of Romil Ramgarhia

The Indian movie industry has witnessed a huge transition, from the tiny street rolling image frames to the single projector theatres and now big multiplexes. The passion and love for cinema are evident from how people engage themselves in watching movies throughout the year. While demographics and one’s spending capacity plays a vital role, producers are now aiming to make cinema accessible to all. This has popularised the growth of OTT platforms.  

In the race of providing content to everyone, the future of streaming apps look bright. The trend is – ‘streaming on demand’, and when fuelled by the power of the internet, it gives you the freedom to enjoy movies at your own pace. 

Ushering in the New Era of Entrainment  

Media guru and owner of Sunshine Digimedia Pvt Ltd (SDPL) India, Romil Ramgarhia, share his valuable perspective in this regard. Being a digital content producer himself, Ramgarhia believes that both formats (OTT and Theatre) offer diverse USPs and cater to different audiences.   

OTT Vs Theatre 

The hunger for good content consumption rose during the pandemic. Earlier, the multiplexes singlehandedly satiated this demand. Today, OTT platforms allow you to indulge in the fun of movies at the click of a button. You can watch personalized content in any language of choice, with or without subtitles. You can take pauses and breaks and watch the movie in a comforting fashion. 

The nitty-gritty is clear, which is why you should understand the individual selling points of both these mediums.     

Audiences who visit the theatres look beyond just movies. It is a time of relaxation with friends/family, combined with great food and hospitality. The big screen renders the magic which keeps them gripped to the seats. The innovative cinematic formats like 3D and 4D attract more people to come and enjoy the same.

But during the pandemic, things changed drastically. Theatres closed down for an indefinite time, which postponed the release of big-budget movies. It halted production, and industrial revenue streams suffered a backlash. Unprecedented times like this favored the rise of OTT platforms. It created a breakthrough in terms of content availability across the globe. Digitization penetrated rural India, and regional content attracted the masses. All this keeps us in awe about the demographic diaspora that the OTT platforms have attracted.   

The Data  

The video OTT market in India was valued at INR 86.98 Bn in FY 2020. It is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~31% during the FY 2022 – FY 2026 period. Original premium content, especially in regional language, is one of the biggest growth drivers and differentiators, because several OTT platforms are vying for consumers’ attention. This speaks volumes about the future of the entertainment industry.    

Adapting to the Shifting Landscape 

Ramgarhia says, “Content remains the king as the pipeline continue to diversify in multiple ways.” Online streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Sony LIV, Zee5, Voot etc. have captivated the audience for small budget films. Hence for experimental films, OTT guarantees a big viewership.   

On the other hand, people visit the theatres for an experience (high picture and sound quality).   

But now, for the theatres to keep running, they should create an irresistible proposition to improve the big picture experience. The future will see a co-existence of the big screen and OTT platforms, but they will be a tough competition with each other. 

“I believe that the movie content should dictate the medium of release. A perfect collaboration of both mediums can be a win-win for the consumers and producers. This will give them the freedom to choose and watch movies. “

Sooryavanshi release in Hindi and several regional language film releases in theatres should bring back the consumer confidence. However more good content and no 3rd wave will ensure theatres to return to pre-covid levels faster. We should wait for another 3-6M before counting our chickens.

Media Contact
Contact Person: Romil Ramgarhia
Email: Send Email
Country: India
Website: https://romilramgarhia.wordpress.com/

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