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OTT vs Theatres: Winning the Pandemic Test

OTT vs Theatres

Due to the increasing restrictions posed by COVID-19, movie buffs have been deprived of their best source of entertainment and comfort: cinema theatres. However, the rising need for movies has been met by the digitally advanced 21st century in the form of OTT. OTT vs theatres has been an ongoing battle ever since the subtle rise of OTTs, but COVID-19 has given it a new boost.

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What is an OTT?

An over-the-top (OTT) media service is a streaming media service offered directly to viewers via the internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms, the companies that traditionally act as a controller or distributor of such content. There are many factors as to why OTT is favourable to many people. Due to COVID-19, however, people have not been left with much of a choice. In the absence of traditional cinema, people have turned to OTTs.



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OTT vs Theatres

Exposure

There is no lack of creativity in the film industry. Hence, there are many films created and produced on daily. An OTT provides a cheaper alternative for these lesser-known films to be distributed to a wider audience. This is a win-win situation for the producers who are looking for a far-reaching platform, and the OTT service which wants to act as a large house of media.

Expenditure

Money is a big motivator for most OTT vs theatres argument. Since theatres count as a whole experience, the going rate for different movies is different. All-in-all, the experience along with food and drinks comes to a hefty price, for one movie. On the other hand, OTTs act as a content farm containing underrated movies and TV shows and the well-loved bangers. All this comes to the price of a subscription which is way cheaper than going to as many movies in a theatre.

Comfort

The point that takes the cake, however, is the comfort of being able to enjoy a quick, random movie with a friend or alone. OTT platforms are available across different electronic devices. Every other day, a new feature is added to make streaming on OTT platforms the most flawless experience. Movie recommendations come flooding without much work. This is due to their recommendation algorithm. It is the most convenient way to watch movies right now.

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OTT vs Theatres for Movie-goers

Due to this pandemic, movie buffs have found fun, creative ways to transform their own living space into a large, theatre experience at the fraction of the price. However, the transition has not come very smoothly. People who regularly go to the theatre prefer big screens, incredible lighting and content designed for said big screens. They have, grudgingly, accepted this change to regular-sized screens and movies produced to fit the OTT market design.

Other movie buffs have chosen to prioritize plot and acting in the movie over the experience of going to the theatre. This means that they have adapted really well to this new and dynamic platform-shift. Due to the pandemic, the producers of movies are not willing to release their creation to the theatre with a capacity-constrained footprint. Hence, the new releases will make their way to OTT platforms sooner than later.

From a larger perspective, it does look like OTTs are taking over theatres. While movie theatres will never go out of style, movie-goers will rely more on OTT for regular watching. They will switch to movie theatres for that once-in-a-month experience.

Sources: Economic Times, The Indian Express

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