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Video content gained much importance in the past year, and digital streaming and over-the-top (OTT) platforms got a bigger seat at the table as movies began to be released directly on some top platforms. There was a welcome flux of fresh, engaging content. Industry sources predict trends in 2021 which could rule the OTT space.
Veteran producer Anand Pandit said, “As artists, creators and consumers of art in all spaces, we will continue to adapt to whatever the new normal throws at us. As a producer, I see more and more content and its delivery being digitized for more accessibility. We will find a way to not just create but to reach even those we could not earlier because as some doors close, many others will open and I mean in terms of not just OTT platforms but on content sharing platforms. Story-telling will become more and more democratized as the pandemic has shown us just how powerful the act of sharing personal experiences of survival and resilience can be. And the content we create will have to become more specific to the times, more intimate, more driven by our realities. We will have to be more contextual, more relevant, and more empathetic when we ideate films and shows because 2020 has taught us some hard lessons.”
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“As the world went into lockdown, lots of people embraced OTT platforms for their main source of entertainment. Without any doubt, OTT video is driving the future of home entertainment. In such a competitive space, it’s important that streaming service providers customize their content to match the ever-changing expectations of viewers. Personalization of content will play a major role in 2021 and will be a key differentiator as viewers are looking for a personalized viewing experience. Personalization will make it super convenient for viewers, it could be achieved from strategizing recommendation engines, tailored content, or adaptable user experiences,” Rohit Jain, Managing Director, South Asia and Networks – Emerging Markets Asia at Lionsgate said.
Producer and filmmaker Puneet Singh said, “With the environment still being uncertain we can only hope positively for cinema, that it will get us the theater experience soon, but the impact and market size of what OTT has created cannot be ignored. Reports say that the India OTT content market will reach $5 bn in size by 2023, it cannot be a better thing to know that we have a great future as with OTT, while we wait for theatres to reopen soon.”
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Director Girish Malik said, “OTT’s growth has been accelerated due to the pandemic. But it was growing anyway. And with faster, cheaper, and more accessible internet even in small towns and villages, it will remain a dominant way for entertainment to reach people. While OTT is personalized, convenient, and provides variety. Cinema is a community experience. Going to the cinema is an event. People are still going to go for it. I feel it will take a little more time for people to get comfortable going to cinemas, probably by mid-2021. But the thing to look forward to is how the exposure to this varied content will shape the taste of the people and how and whether it will affect the content we see in cinemas.”
According to Ganesh Iyer – Executive Vice President & National Head, Mirchi Originals, the forced lockdown from March to around August has had a direct impact on the content production cycle and therefore “a lot of shows are delayed; new releases are not as prolific as they could have otherwise been” but that apart, a few things that are likely to happen in the OTT space in 2021:
Regionalization of content in the true sense
5-6 platforms of the big platforms have been making sporadic inroads into the non-Hindi market with original content (apart from catch-up TV content that the broadcaster backed platforms already offer) but expect the traction to grow significantly in 2021. And much of the growth is likely to come not from these national players whose tentpole focus will continue to be Hindi, but from regional single-language focused platforms like Aha (Telugu), and Hoichoi (Bengali). The explosion of growth in video consumption is already coming from regional markets as per most reports – it is now time for quality supply to show up. This is a big investment long-term game, so don’t be surprised if a few regional cash-rich film production houses/media conglomerates throw their hats into the ring.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: 2021 में आने वाली भारतीय वेब शो की रोमांचक सूची
Films direct to OTT
Again the lockdown has seen a plethora of movies across sizes and languages, otherwise planned for theatrical release, going direct to OTT, but expect this to become a permanent trend starting immediately. Not only do filmmakers get to tell stories that are otherwise not commercially viable (given the disproportionate dependence on theatrical revenues and the inability of theatres to release niche movies within the 52 Fridays available every year), but viewers also get to consume a variety of genres, beyond what is otherwise dished out and therefore become deeper consumers of OTT platforms. More important, for platforms too, this is not a totally unviable stream (we are not talking only deep pockets here) since movies tend to find their own audiences across geographies and over time, the luxury of which both, OTT platforms have – unlike the limited domestic theatrical week-on-week seat inventory.
Interactive, real-time content
With terms like AR and VR becoming more and more prevalent, and with interaction on social media playing a key added role, content is likely to go more real-time and interactive – in terms of co-creation, on-the-go dynamics, multiple endings, and even reward-based shows. We are still a few years away from this going more mainstream and we have had international examples like ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ but expect a few big Indian originals to try this route out.
Opening up of genres
The success of intense grim dramas like ‘Mirzapur’, ‘Ashram’, ‘Patal Lok’, etc. (Scam was an outlier but was still intense) has forced most platforms to create similar offerings, but something’s gotta give as they say. All it takes is for a few good shows of a totally different kind to turn the tide to get platforms to green light shows across multiple genres including romantic and slice-of-life comedies. ‘Panchayat’ was a sole runner in 2020, but likely a few others will emerge in 2021 and change this, giving viewers varied choices, and also bringing more consumers into the OTT net (given that dark drama with sex/violence/abusive language make for uncomfortable viewing in a family set-up). (IANS)
Over the last one-and-a-half-year, people have been vocal about both mental and physical health in relationships. Even while miles away from one another, people kept checking on the health and well-being of their loved ones. However, one issue, i.e., breast cancer has been affecting women throughout the world, and it still needs much more focus and attention.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2020 itself, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer in the world. A report published by National Cancer Registry Programme (NCRP) estimates that breast cancer cases are likely to increase by nearly 20 per cent. Throughout the world, the tenth month of the year is recognized as the month of "Pink October" to raise awareness about breast cancer. The month should also be a celebration of encouraging the women in our lives to take the first step in this journey of staying in "Pink of Health". happen, an international dating app, conducted an in-app survey to understand how Indians discuss health issues like breast cancer with their partners. The survey gave a glimpse of whether health issues are impacting the life and relationships of singles.
41 per cent of users are not aware of examinations related to women's health
Forty-one per cent of users shared that they did not encourage the women in their life (mother, sister, friend, etc.) to go for checkups for issues related to health. Sixteen per cent of the respondents confessed that they did not remind women in their life to take examinations for their own health. It is important to note that regular self-examination is likely to detect breast lumps early. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If it is detected in time, it will be cured in nine out of 10 cases.
41 per cent of users are not aware of examinations related to women's health. | Photo by Unsplash
49 per cent of users said, "Breast Cancer is not an impediment when in love"
A disease like breast cancer is likely to affect the confidence and self-esteem of women who are diagnosed with the same. With the change in the body, they might feel scared, less confident, and unloved at times. However, when questioned if breast cancer can be a deal-breaker for men, 49 per cent of them shared that it is not a problem.
When questioned if breast cancer can be a deal-breaker for men, 49 per cent of them shared that it is not a problem. | Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash
55 per cent believe talking about physical and mental health is no longer a stigma
The past year provided users with an opportunity to be open about their health issues--both mental and physical. Fifty-five per cent of users agreed that they are comfortable talking about such issues even when they still explore the relationship. Thus, establishing how the new generation is not shying away from breaking the taboo and stigmas around the notion of keeping one's health issues secret.
Fifty-five per cent of users agreed that they are comfortable talking about such issues even when they still explore the relationship. | Photo by Unsplash
40 per cent of users believe that a couple's everyday life can be affected by some health problems
A minimal headache can disrupt our whole routine for the day, so relationships are bound to be impacted by the health problems of our partner. Users shared that health issues can bring a little bit of tension and worry in the relationship with their partners. Health issues can be overwhelming for couples; thus, it becomes essential to voice your concerns to your partner. Sharing what you feel will provide you with clarity and make your partner your biggest support system. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Indians, women health, relationship, breast cancer, mental health, examinations
One of the world's largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, announced Saturday it aims to reach "net zero" greenhouse gas emissions by 2060, joining more than 100 countries in a global effort to try and curb man-made climate change.
The announcement, made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in brief scripted remarks at the start of the kingdom's first-ever Saudi Green Initiative Forum, was timed to make a splash a little more than a week before the start of the global COP26 climate conference being held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Although the kingdom will aim to reduce its emissions, Prince Mohammed said the kingdom would do so through a so-called "Carbon Circular Economy" approach. That approach focuses on still unreliable carbon capture and storage technologies over efforts to actually reduce global reliance on fossil fuels. The announcement only pertains to Saudi Arabia's efforts within its national borders and does not impact its continued aggressive investment in oil and exporting its fossil fuels to Asia and other regions.
"The transition to net zero carbon emissions will be delivered in a manner that preserves the kingdom's leading role in enhancing the security and stability of global energy markets, particularly considering the maturity and availability of technologies necessary to manage and reduce emissions," a statement by the Saudi Green Initiative forum said.
The kingdom's oil and gas exports form the backbone of its economy, despite efforts to diversify away from reliance on fossil fuels for revenue.
The global summit COP26 starting Oct. 31 will draw heads of state from across the world to try and tackle global warming and its challenges. It is being described as "the world's last best chance "to prevent global warming from reaching dangerous levels. The summit is expected to see a flurry of new commitments from governments and businesses to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases.
Leaked documents first reported by the BBC emerged Thursday showing how Saudi Arabia and other countries, including Australia, Brazil and Japan, are apparently trying to water down an upcoming U.N. science panel report on global warming. The documents are purportedly evidence of the way in which some governments' public support for climate action is undermined by their efforts behind closed doors.
Saudi Arabia has pushed back against the recommendation that fossil fuels be urgently phased out of the energy sector. Instead, the kingdom is touting, thus enabling nations to continue burning fossil fuels by sucking the resulting emissions out of the atmosphere, according to Greenpeace, which obtained the documents.
The kingdom repeatedly seeks to have the report's authors delete references to the need to phase out fossil fuels, as well as the panel's conclusion that there is a "need for urgent and accelerated mitigation actions at all scales," according to the leaked documents
Earlier this month, the United Arab Emirates - another major Gulf Arab energy producer - announced it too would join the "net zero" club of nations with a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The UAE did not announce specifics on how it will reach this target but said its Ministry of Climate Change and Environment would work with the energy, economy, industry, infrastructure, transport, waste, agriculture and other sectors on the government's strategies and policies to achieve net zero by 2050.
The UAE says it is home to three of the largest solar facilities in the world and is the first country in the Middle East to deploy nuclear power. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: UAE, Oil Producer, Carbon Economy, COP26, Saudi Arabia
Apple proposed the changes in August in a legal settlement with small app developers.
Both sides have appealed.
Keywords: Apple, App store, Epic, Games