THE CHARLES DARWIN THEORY Of Media Platforms

BY AAKASH WADHWA

“Change is the only unchanging law of life”
Brown parents find it fun, sharing anecdotes of ‘their’ times with their heirs. It’s
established in the minds of millennials since late childhood, how unlucky their
parents were with the choices of recreation. As of my home, my parents have made
a very crystal clear picture of the so-called ‘their’ time inside my skull. “ In the early
days we had a radio, very non similar to what you have seen, it had a dial that surfed
us through the radio channels or frequencies. Then televisions which were a lot
fattier than their successors, LEDs or LCDs,made a debut. The possession of this fat
device classified one as upper middle class or the elite in society, we used to peep
through such houses’ windows to grab a movie which was only telecasted once in a
week or a fortnight.” my dad exclaims. When interviewed about the same matter my
mom added “only DD National used to telecast all genres from news to daily soaps
and movies, then slowly in the mid 90s various channels came into existence which
till date have mushroomed to such a large number that one is never short of choice
in any genre in any language.”
For us, millennials, there was a time when cable operators were the most contacted
in our homes. Then DTH (direct to home) services came, I really feel nostalgic
hearing ‘ISKO LAGA DALA TO LIFE JINGALALA’, ‘DISH KARO WISH KARO’. To
feel their success one can climb their terrace and see the herd of dishes across the
society they are residing. Even the slums or congested mohallas have one dish for
every home.
But what next……?
On one hand where this COVID-19 Pandemic proved fatal for most industries, a few
are harvesting the benefits of this locked down era. Digital gaming, social media,
internet services,OTT(Over The Top) Media platforms topping the charts.
Coming to our sphere of discussion and the unanswered question, what next…?
Well, we all miss our favourite daily soaps and reality shows not being telecast but I
have no reservation to say that Amazon Prime, netflix, youtube etc. have held my
hand and saved me from dooming in this lockdown.
These Amazon Prime, Netflix, ZEE5, ALTBalaji, MX Player etc. are actually
classified as OTT(Over The Top) platforms, the term being coined as these platforms
provide the media streaming over the cable or set top box without involving any
cable operator or broadcast connection rather simply via an internet connection.
These OTT platforms kicked off in INDIA approx. 3-4 years back but have reached
their peak growth during this COVID-19 crisis only. At present there are about 36
OTT apps or platforms operating in INDIA
According to a survey on market research by analysis firm Velocity MR with a small
sample size of 3000 respondents, it was found that more than 75% indians have
bought new OTT subscriptions in this lockdown period. Subscriptions to Amazon
Prime surged to 67% and that of Netflix to 65%. “As no new daily soaps are being
aired during the lockdown, 80% preferred watching movies followed by National
News (65 per cent),” Jasal Shah, Managing Director & CEO, Velocity MR, said in a
statement.


So is OTT the future…?
To answer this question we first have to understand the OTT business model in
contrast with the conventional TV model. Well in the TV platform there are numerous
channels which deliver content on a real time basis and earn revenue while featuring
Ads. . On the opposite side the OTT model survives on subscription revenue and
features content like a library ranging from web series, movies. In the recent past
they have also premiered many movies and short movies including the MahaNayak
starring – Gulabo Sitabo. The OTT platforms also compliment subscribers with a few
partnered live TV channels or their own ones. Whilst the situation normalises and
cinemas start flashing visuals again,all newcomers will continue to premiere here.
Even after that it will be usual for less or mid budget films to premiere on these
streams as the promotional and distribution expenses are cut to a large extent. Yes ,
the question is answered in positive that OTT platforms are the future and we can
see that future budding in the form of devices such as firestick, chromecast, AppleTv
that convert non smart conventional LEDs or TVs into smart ones that enable them
surf the internet and become a benefactor of the OTT service. The smart TVs on the
flip side enjoy such services without any third party device. IPTV or Internet Protocol
TeleVision is also a similar technology which uses the internet instead of satellite,
dish or cable. Many dish or cable operators are seen pioneering this service in the
recent past. Where it can be assumed obvious that cable and DTH are sure to be
replaced, it’s also certain that Cinema will not lose its charm in the future as its
business model is quite more strong than these platforms and it is more a family
outing or a way of social interaction than just recreation. If the future follows the trend
then, this blog might be the story we as brown parents might recite to our children.
Whatever, may be the case

The CHARLES DARWIN THEORY Of Media &
Entertainment sums up as
“Survival of cheapest and the best in consumer satisfaction”

Charles Darwin