These days, film director Vikram Bhatt is a busy man. However, it is not cinema that keeps Bhatt on his toes and has directed box office hits like Raaz, Ghulam, Aetbaar, 1920, and Haunted.
The war of Web vs. Television
Some of the film industry’s production houses have already created a separate division for creating content for the Web. With the emergence of platforms such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, naturally, the competition is getting intense.
“Ultimately, we’re both vying for the same set of eyeballs, the equal sum of pocket and mind space. And it’s not either tv or multiplex, but some other type of entertainment — it could be an event, a visit to the mall, or a beach walk. If you’re free, we ‘d rather have you watch stuff that we’ve made,”
says Ashish Patil, head, Y-Films, a Yash Raj Films division.
If cable television killed Doordarshan, it’s not going to be wrong to say that the Internet killed cable television and now it’s cinemas. The broadcast of audio-video on the Internet is a matter of concern for the public—participation of a multi-system operator to control or distribute content. Platforms like Amazon Prime Streaming, genyoutube, Netflix, and on-demand content providers like SonyLIV and Voot and YouTube channels are giving other entertainment mediums a run for their profits.
Why digital sells
Indian Media and Entertainment Report of 2019 by KPMG India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), by the end of 2019, India had 400 million Internet users and 300 million smartphones, which meant that the mobile rapidly became the medium of choice for media consumption in the region. Video-on-demand (VoD) usage grew due to a rise in average Broadband speeds of 62 percent in 2019. According to the study, the 350 most-watched YouTube videos saw a 50 percent rise in total view length for content posted in 2019 compared with three years earlier.
Y-Films, which started with web series India, an original four-part web-show on gender issues called Man’s World, has come a long way toward creating content and increasing viewership.
Assault on theatres
The personal handset has become the foremost destination for entertainment, and cinema hall feels the pinch. Add to this the fact that film-watching has become a privilege for most people in India, and the situation is becoming more gloomy. Increased ticket prices are turning out to be a dampener for viewers, along with the lack of fresh content. “Why should I waste time, get stuck in the traffic, and drive through half of the city to watch a movie when I know it will be released soon through a streaming platform.”