Can OTT platforms and TV channels maintain their viewership?

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Film is a powerful medium and is widely consumed by people across the country. A major chunk of this population regularly watches movies in cinemas. Sadly, theatres have been shut since more than a month due to lockdown and amid rising coronavirus cases. Most of the people are locked up in their homes and to tide over their boredom, they have started watching more of television and OTT. As a result, their ratings have increased substantially.

As for OTT, it too has taken advantage. The subscribers of almost all streaming platforms have increased. Some popular series released new seasons of their shows like ‘Money Heist’ and ‘Four More Shots Please’ and the response has been very encouraging. Also, viewers have been discovering many more shows and movies which they previously missed because of lack of time. Amusingly, ‘Contagion’ (2011) became one of the most watched films worldwide. It tells the story of a disease that goes out of control and is eerily similar to the current pandemic.

The lockdown or rather the restrictions are expected to go on till a long time. And if one feels OTT and TV channels will continue to benefit, then one might be mistaken. There’s a fear that viewers will soon reach a saturation point and might move away from these mediums. At a webinar recently, a speaker remarked that many have consumed the material that they would have otherwise consumed in 3 years in just 3 months! Also, OTT platforms, after a point, won’t have anything new to offer as their productions have halted as well. So a few months down the line, they too will feel the pinch as they’ll struggle to bring out new content. There’s similar fear about re-runs of TV shows as well.

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