Quarantine, Cinema and Chill

The Coronavirus Pandemic has led to the entire economy to come at a standstill. With no economic activity underway, almost all the sectors of the economy are badly wounded. Except the OTT Platforms which have seen a huge surge in Subscribers base and Viewership.

A recent report pointed out that more than 75 per cent of Indians have purchased new subscriptions for Over The Top ( OTT ) Platforms during the lockdown period. Industry Experts expect Amazon Prime and Netflix to almost double their Subscribers and even Hotstar which has the highest Subscribers base is expected to grow it by 20-50%. So what does all this mean for Traditional Media like TV Channels and Cinema Halls ?

Traditional TV Media

The Traditional Media channels have failed to innovate during this lockdown period and ran a rerun of its existing shows and thus lost its viewership to the likes of Ramayana, Mahabharat and the OTT Platforms. Typically, it takes 66 days to form a habit. And Indian viewers will get plenty more to get accustomed to the content on Netflix, Prime Video and Hotstar.

So will people return to watching the shows they have lost touch with for all this time ? That seems like a far stretch. I mean, the TV Serials would have to get out of their comfort zones and actually do something amazing to get back what they believed to be theirs by right.

Our Beloved Cinema

The Cinema Industry is staring at an uncertain future. This pandemic has led to movie releases being deferred and operations being completely shut. When people will start stepping out of their homes to entertain themselves is very uncertain. And how much the Seat Distancing is going to help draw in the crowds who are fear-struck at the prospect of coming in contact with the Virus, is also unclear as of now. BTW, would Advertisers be willing to pay as much as they did for substantially less eyeballs ?

However, Cinema Industry has survived the Spanish flu, war time restrictions, invention of television, and more recently the streaming platforms. So, it can place its hope in Research done by China Film Association and Maoyan which states people are eager to return to Cinema in China and in the unverified fact that People will still be Social Animals and prefer Out of Home Entertainment when all of this is over.

But one thing is certain that OTT platforms stand to gain the most from this National Lockdown. But will they be able to sustain it by keeping the market share of Traditional TV Media and Cinemas for themselves ?

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