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OTT entertainment platforms gain acceptance in Covid times

OTT platforms are gaining acceptance among viewers in the country, with an increasing number of film makers opting to stream movies on this medium since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

Making use of the situation, several new Over The Top (OTT) platform companies came into existence, and spread their footprint across India. Earlier, the OTT platforms were limited to cities. However, now it is available in every nook and corner of even villages. And the results are there for everyone to see.

When people were restricted to their homes, they had no way to watch movies at theatres; naturally they moved towards Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+, Zee, Voot and other apps, industry sources said.

NeeStream is one such popular OTT platform in South India. With several new films being released on the platform, NeeStream has been witnessing a rise in subscriber numbers. By paying a subscription fee, customers can watch movies and other entertainment programmes on mobile, tablet, laptop, computer and television.

Manu Abraham, Director, Neestream Creations Pvt Ltd, said that anyone having an internet connection can watch new and old movies of their choice through this medium. Now, film makers are releasing films through new OTT platforms. Moreover, debut directors and movie makers are also choosing regional OTTs to release their movies; the trend has become a big success.

“You can buy movie tickets to watch a particular movie on NeeSstream. You can even pre-book it; you can also take monthly or yearly subscriptions,” he said.

The recently released Malayalam film, ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’, released through NeeStream was a big hit with subscribers. According to Abraham, Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s wife sent a mail to the company for information on the content accessing options on NeeStream.

Now the global Malayalam OTT platforms are releasing Malayalam films, web series, short movies, documentaries, talk shows, and all other entertainment content on this medium.

The number of yearly subscriptions in OTT platforms are increasing as the cost for a family to view a new film works out to less than ₹150. OTT platforms are turning out to be a relief for those who made huge investments in the film industry and not able to release the films in theatres. This has given a new life to the industry, which was struggling to come out of the pandemic, he said.

Some of the popular OTT platforms in South India are Cave, Roots, Prime Reels and Saina Play. This growth in entertainment industry is mostly driven by the increase in smartphone users, growing internet speeds and creation of original content.

With people’s changing lifestyles and increased use of smartphones with affordable internet services, OTT platforms are getting more popular. Youngsters are being attracted to OTT platforms as these can be accessed anywhere, anytime, he added. The Hindu Business Line

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