Is OTT Platform is the Future or Exhibition Sector will again be the Preferred Choice?

Recently there is news circulating that few single screens across India are getting closed. Already single screens are in a dire state as less number of Pan India films are being produced by the makers today. Is COVID 19 disease the final nail in the coffin?

We all know that majority of Hit films in the last few years have hardly emerged as an all India Hit. Barring Salman Khan and Tiger Shroff's films and few mores, no other actor films are now catered to single screens especially in the B and C centers. Remember Sunny Deol's Gadar which released in 2001 emerged as one of the biggest Hit of all time and that also on the power of single screens. Where are those films now?

There is also a reason for that. Single Screens generate less revenue per footfall in comparison to multiplexes. The average ticket price of a single screen is much less than say a PVR, Inox, or Carnival cinemas. No doubt today's makers are looking for short term benefit rather than going for a long run.

Now coming to post COVID 19 times. As cinema halls are closed all across India, we have seen a spike in Digital and Satellite medium as people are staying mostly indoor. This has led to a lot of negotiations between OTT (Over The Top) platforms and makers. Few small and medium budgeted films have cracked a good deal also. This has led to fear among the exhibition sector that in the future many films will directly release in OTT rather than premiering in the cinema halls.

No doubt OTT platform is the new age preferred choice at least at this moment. But we believe, once everything is back to normal we will again see large crowds and houseful boards in front of multiplexes and single screens. Exhibition sector has survived the strongest test such as VCR, Cable networks, VCD times, online piracy and it will again easily withstand this new storm named OTTP.

Another factor because of which we think that cinema halls will be the preferred choice. That is most of the films or other contents that are premiered on OTT platform at this moment are rubbish. Even the trailers of upcoming films that are going to release on OTT are bad to average. It means makers are trying to crack the deal for films which they think may emerge as a 'Flop' at the box office. Even in these dire circumstances, the OTT platform is getting mostly poor to mediocre content to display in their network. Yes, many will argue that much good content are floating on OTT platform. Even they will know that percentage of good content is very less. This also give confidence that makers still preferred choice is theatre viewing, as revenue generated from that is much higher and enjoyable.

Finally, humans are a social animal and we enjoy a movie much more in a social gathering and of course on a big screen. Yes, coronavirus pandemic is not a joke anymore and it will take some time and will need good planning from the exhibition sector to pull crowd into the theatres. We might see many benefits given by owners of cinema halls to the audiences to pull them to their respective theatres. We might see some creativity in the coming times ahead.

So, we are damn sure that exhibition sector will again test the time of coronavirus pandemic. They will again be the preferred choice ahead of OTT platforms. And we will again see films creating new benchmarks and breaking existing records. Yes, it may take some time. Yes, few more single screens may get closed by then. But reason of SS getting closed is mainly due to the content factor not because of film releasing on OTT. We will discuss that topic some other time and in detail.

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