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Streaming platforms make big bets on producing original movies

Video streaming platforms are putting big bets on producing original movies, with Amazon Prime releasing Majaa Ma, starring Madhuri Dixit, subsequent week, Disney’s Star Studios promising to make them for its digital platform, Disney+ Hotstar, and Netflix lining up movies with Vishal Bhardwaj, Sujoy Ghosh and Zoya Akhtar.

Both homegrown and international streaming companies mentioned movies are faster to supply, film-writing expertise is available, and viewers are extra inclined to observe them. As a outcome, world viewing of Indian cinema is up 50% within the first half of 2022 on Netflix in comparison with the identical interval in 2021. Besides, the price of buying movies launched in theatres is steep, making original movies extra financially possible.

“India has by no means actually had the form of premium tv it’s seeing now with net reveals. Audiences have solely been used to cinema and linear TV thus far. So although there are writers on the market, collection writing is more durable and takes longer to place collectively. On the opposite hand, writing for a two-hour movie comes extra naturally to our writers and the trade, usually,” Ajit Thakur, chief executive of Aha, said, a Telugu and Tamil streaming service owned by Arha Media & Broadcasting.

Having premiered films, including Bhamakalapam and Senapathi, Aha is commissioning projects in Tamil and Telugu, including some that will release in theatres first and then stream exclusively on Aha. It is also easier to cast bigger actors in original digital films as it requires less of their time than, say, a series, Thakur said.

Platforms are no longer keen to acquire films for digital releases, which was the need of the hour during the pandemic, said Gautam Jain, partner at media consultant Ormax. “Most platforms want to invest in building series or original films instead, where they control the IP. The overall cost structure is also favourable for platforms when they commission an original series or film instead of acquiring them,” he mentioned.

Karan Taurani, a media sector analyst at Elara Capital Ltd, agreed. “OTT platforms wish to personal IPs by means of movies quite than paying a hefty premium for buying movies from exterior that they’ll solely personal for 5 to seven years. Films even have nice recall and might be watched in a single go,” Taurani said. In an interview earlier this month, Rebecca Campbell, chairman of international content and operations at Walt Disney Co., said the company has five films in various stages of production in India and is looking at a balance between theatrical and direct-to-digital releases where they will have big movies that would stream directly on their Hotstar service. Pehal News

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