Digital money has the potential of revolutionising celluloid in India. With the advent of big players such as Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar, the trend of digital watching can open new frontiers in the long run.
Cinema advertising has experienced significant growth over the last two years. And, advertising along with hosting cinema on digital platforms is gathering pace to become the new wave of the film business in India. Netflix and Amazon Prime have been quick to penetrate the Indian archives and have been buying rights of old films and television series from less active or faded production houses. This can perhaps be beneficial in the recent times of depreciating satellite TV rights. Besides, going digital and streaming high-definition videos is the future of the audio-visual industry that was, in a way, crippled by the increasing rate of piracy. Video-on-Demand looks likely to be the future in India and cinema will be an integral part of this industrial revolution. Let’s look at the most crucial changes in the viewing habits of Indians.
Challenging space – Three Big Players
Hotstar already holds the exclusive rights for the sports live streaming content on the internet in India. Recently, it has cited exclusive tie-ups with HBO, Disney and many more English, Hindi and several other regional channels. Hotstar announced, on February 13, their future plans of hosting an exclusive Hotstar Cineplay channel. It will add a new format in storytelling, according to the company.
The recent commercials by Amazon Prime do come with a lot of intent. Whether it is the wife who changes the password of the man waiting to watch his favourite series or the obsessed couple who had an emotional treaty of watching a particular film together – the ads clearly exhibit Amazon’s aspiration to become the new prime-time preference of India.
In an introductory commercial, there was the tagline, India ka Naya Primetime (India’s new Primetime), and then came the introductory price far lower than other services. The year’s worth of Amazon Prime, at INR 499, is a rupee less than just a month’s worth of streaming on Netflix’s introductory plan. However, Hotstar’s premium offering comes at a relatively economical INR 190 a month.
While the Indian millennials are gradually shifting to digital streaming, new players with innovative streaming channels and well-packaged marketing can also see long-term possibilities. Digital viewing and streaming facilities are assumed to complement each other’s demand and supply very soon in India.