Ever heard of OTT platforms? One of the most prominent sources of entertainment in the modern era has been movies. The creation of movies dates back to 14th October 1888. It was called the Roundhay Garden Scene ( technically not the full-length movies that are present today but it was considered the first motion picture recorded). From then until now we have had huge evolutions in the cinematic industry, so much so that we have full-fledged universities concentrated around it. We’ve had movies from being colourless (black and white) to the era of coloured films, the first one being created in the year 1908 named “A visit to the Seaside” and is 8 minutes long.
The history of OTT platforms (Over-the-top) may be a little bit of a labyrinth but Netflix started in 1997 as a platform that used to deliver DVDs/video tapes by mail services. By 1999 Netflix added their new scheme of %15.95 per month where a user would be able to rent 4 tapes at a time with no return-by dates. By 2000 Netflix ditched the late fees and return-by dates to a new price of $19.95 per month. In 2007 alongside its tape rental service by mail, it also added a streaming service.
Other platforms by different companies were also released but nothing took off the way Netflix did. Because of the dominance that has been asserted by Netflix over two decades, it is probably the prime leader of the OTT platforms.
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As of today, we have hundreds of OTT platforms, from regional to national to around the globe, it is a never-ending stream of entertainment. A few of the most popular ones include Netflix, Amazon prime, Hulu, and HBO Max. But have OTT platforms been affecting the traditional cinema industry?
During the global pandemic of COVID-19, OTT platforms dominated the entertainment industry as people could not go out to cinemas, the only alternative left would be to have OTT subscriptions, and there it was OTT platforms took a huge incline in the graph. Ever since most of the protocols regarding COVID-19 have been lifted, people still have a leaning tendency towards OTT media. Let’s have a brief discussion about why people still prefer streaming services over physical cinemas and why OTT platforms may just be better than traditional theatres.
1) More options, More Entertainment
Considering traditional cinemas, average screens in a theatre may round up to 3-4 screens, and a minimal variety of movies with selective languages. In contrast, in OTT platforms you have a vast amount of options to yourself. From different genres to different languages, from old to the latest movies, various OTT platforms cover most modern-day movies. You can watch various movies or even binge-watch web series. The variety provided by OTT is and will forever be undefeated by theatres.
2) The comfort of your own home
Instead of going to theatres, now people can enjoy those movies in the comfort of their own houses and wherever they want. You can watch movies while doing household chores or in your comfortable bed. People won’t have to deal with the chairs, and some random kids kicking the back of their seats and disturbing their experience. And if you are countered by some urgent task you can very well pause and then resume your entertainment at your convenience.
3) Multiple access at your convenience
One single account of an OTT subscription can be used by multiple users, by splitting the subscription fee among a group of people and getting a plan where multiple users can access the streaming service, it is way cheaper than just paying for a single movie. And if you wanna watch a movie with your friends or family or anyone, you now have a feature for watching parties where users can watch a movie together from anywhere and even have a private chat box to communicate during the movie.
4) Avoiding Piracy
Because of the privacy block (a black screen when you try to stream anything from an OTT platform, a black screen appears which blocks off the show) where you cannot stream shows through any other application or website, piracy is avoided and only the original content is provided. OTT platforms also avoid piracy through digital rights management, an approach to copyright protection of digital content, secure URLs and VPN block. Some theatres may or may not support the illegal piracy of various movies, but OTT platforms strictly update their security and privacy to avoid piracy.
Although there are several benefits of OTT platforms, the decision regarding entertainment and experience is subjective. While some might enjoy these services in the comfort of their own home, some might prefer the experience of a cinema theatre. But if I had to conclude and make a choice, I would rather choose OTT platforms because of the various benefits that have been enlisted above. There’s so much provided at such a small price.