What does OTT stand for? When did OTT come into existence? Are you aware of its current market value.? If not, then you have reached the perfect place to learn about it all. Keep reading!
The Journey So Far
Over The Top, aka OTT, is based on the concept of video delivery over the internet. It has brought a historical change in viewership habits of the users. From Netflix to Amazon, from MX Player to Zee5, the OTT market has grown exponentially since its inception in 2007. It has provided a convenient, accessible, and affordable medium to relish pleasurable content। and has been the backbone of the entertainment industry, especially during the pandemic. OTT has been the constant companion, relentlessly delivering personalized content and suggesting user-affinity-based shows. It has, thus, evolved as a stress buster for the daily hustler in buses, metros, and cars.
But what are the reasons behind its virality? What makes users stay hooked to it? What makes it one of the most profitable market spaces to invest in? The questions might seem challenging, but the answers are quite simple.
When OTT was introduced in 2007, with Netflix being one of the first stakeholders, it was an experiment in disguise. In the years that followed, it received a lot of criticism, refute, and losses. But, as more and more platforms joined hands to propagate this new concept, it kept sailing through the tides. Finally, from 2015, especially with the pandemic hitting the world in 2020, the OTT platform saw unprecedented growth. With people trapped indoors due to lockdown and life halted indefinitely, the need for in-house entertainment became a necessity globally. And that’s exactly when the OTT platforms proved to be a game-changer. Bringing back the classics and redefining the age-old concepts, it introduced every consumer to a fresh palette of vibrant colors, thus leaving them wanting for more.
The old school dramas and vintage sitcoms led to the hunger for fresh content. And, OTT grabbed this opportunity in no time. From intriguing multi-genre documentaries to desi chatpata movies, it served a plethora of content for our consumption. It normalized several taboos too. Besides, it also shed light on several important yet often neglected and undermined topics like that of men being sensitive and emotional, love across societal barriers, unconsciously ingrained stereotypes, and so on.
A few commendable shows that satiated the hunger for fresh and modernist content were Sex Education, Little Things, Mirzapur, Little Fires Everywhere, and Breaking Bad.
The fight led by different sects and classes of people to be well-represented on screen has been a long one. Be it a fair princess replacing a dark-skinned one or woman being shown as idols of sheer perfection, the journey to be vocal about one’s identity, across the entertainment industry, has been quite tough. But, for a change, the light seems to be shining at the end of the dark tunnel.
From shows like Kota Factory to Schitt’s Creek, OTT platforms have time and again brought-up content to cast away the existing stereotypes. Breaking the archaic myths, it has strived to project the raw representation of every community present.
We have all heard the famous quote, “ Content is King”. And, one of the major reasons why OTT has risen across the globe is the amazing array of content delivered. Long gone are the days of old school drama filming patriarchal practices, over-hyped romances, and scenes that glorified perfection; now is the time of relatable content. From addressing adulting issues to relationships between a father and son, from projecting imperfect love to sensitizing male issues, from mental health to acceptance of reality, OTT has it all. Additionally, these platforms have also become strong sources of spreading awareness across the globe – like climate change, neglected diseases, self-love, clinical depression, etc…
A few of my favorite mini web series include Little Things (Netflix), Adulting (Amazon Mini), and Lost (Rizzle), all of which strive to address bold and fresh perspectives.
The onset of the second innings of life i.e., post 60, often leads to a dearth of opportunities. It is believed that art matures as it ages, just like rustic wine. But, the converse has been commonly observed. The stars who once adorned the silver screen are refrained from being cast into films, sitcoms, and soap operas. But all thanks to OTT for being the much-needed savior to the cause.
Be it Hulu or Disney, almost all OTT platforms brought the yesteryear actors and actresses back into the mainstream. Additionally, many of the shows/series airing on these platforms are even centered around them. One such worthy watch, released in the recent past is Ham Do Hamare Do, starring Rajkummar Rao, Kriti Sanon, Paresh Rawal, and Ratna Pathak Shah. Another amazing show that broke the viewership records is Friends – The Reunion, starring the original ensemble.
The OTT has been a boon for many fresh faces, waiting in the dark for opportunities. The variety of consumable content formats dotting the OTT platforms has opened up several new avenues to explore. Revamped and bold content, the need for people to justify the script, and the attempt to present newer perspectives and angles to the role have led to several performing artists finding their space within the entertainment industry. Not only actors and actresses but even small-scale designers, voice artists et al. have been greatly benefitted from the rise of OTT, especially during pandemic times.
The Original Culture
Music has always been one of the most important aspects of every production. Be it DDLJ or FRIENDS, the themes/music used echoes back even after many years of its release. And so, OTT is now applying the same rule of music to ensure user retention. Good music, no matter how old, always has a recall value.
Just like actors and actresses, many upcoming musicians, bands, and ensembles are also getting opportunities to showcase their talent. With the constant flow of originals across different series and films, a wave of inspiration has risen. This has motivated several passive and long-dormant musicians and arrangers to rekindle the flame in them. And probably that’s why even short video platforms like Rizzle are beaming with fresh talents presenting their rustic originals. They can now dare to spread their wings to fly high with their ideas. A few of these amazing tracks include Trance, Dhwani, and Tere Nishaan from Rizzle.
We emulate, learn and grow and that is exactly what the OTT platforms have been doing. In pursuit of competing with each other, the delivered content has seen a great improvement in quality. Be it series or films, be it direction or scriptwriting, be it casting or music, every aspect is being revamped. Everything is being relooked at and delved deeper to understand user behavior and curate-create amazing content accordingly. Additionally, the new methods of advertisements, campaigns, and marketing, adopted are helping in giving it the required reach. More interestingly, growing competitively to increase daily active users, OTT has penetrated into various rural parts of India, too. This has, thus, helped in bridging the gap between the ever-expensive entertainment industry and affordability by a rural member.
Enhancement of Content Supply
Another important aspect is the content supply for original creation across different platforms like Instagram, Facebook Rizzle. Today many apps like Rizzle are buzzing with content backed by OTT. From heart-warming dialogues being used as quotes to comedy scenes being extensively used for status videos, from OTT music being adopted for reels to podcasts centered around their stories, the growth of OTT has undoubtedly helped boost the quality and quantity of content available on other platforms. Besides, it has also been a source of inspiration for the small-scale creator community. It has constantly ensured a surplus content flow for them to delve on. This, in turn, has led to the constant increase in the creator segment across various short video apps like Rizzle. Creators are thus being motivated to curate classy content – from web series to OTT remixes, bringing out the best available.
Thus, the boom witnessed by OTT has not only helped make entertainment accessible but has had a profound positive impact, too. It has contributed to the improvements in lifestyle, and backed the creator community efficiently, leading to holistic growth and expansion.
Apps like Rizzle, have not only diversified their content but have also come up with their set of originals. It has, in turn, ensured high-quality content flow, higher user retention, and greater reach and visibility.
So, go out loud! Download and subscribe to various OTT platforms now, create content on social media and short video apps like Rizzle and let the content game begin!