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What is good content on OTT?

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  • Is creativity a premium in Indian entertainment industry?
  • Quality over quantity should be the way ahead

When Netflix made its first foray to the Indian shores, the OTT platform set off a race that continues till now unabated. OTT platforms are falling over each other in trying to woo viewers into subscribing for them or to retain the existing viewer base. The concept of original content took birth on these platforms to attract users, but the question is, what is a good content?

Of late, Netflix has become a dumping ground for movies that are destined to fail at the box office, case in point, Dharma Productions’ ’Drive.’ Prime Video’s ‘The Family Man’ looked like a promising concept with a power-packed star cast but it seems to be a mixture of Netflix’s ‘Jack Ryan’ inspired central character, with weak screenplay and a scene inspired from ‘Breaking Bad.’ A talented Manoj Bajpai and a fiery Priyamani along with a couple of talented supporting cast managed to make the show watchable. Hotstar decided to give home to the remake versions of ‘Doctor Foster’, ‘The Office’ (US version)’ and ‘Hostages’ (a CBS drama) on their platform with disastrous results.

Shows like ‘Sacred Games’, ‘Mirzapur’, and ‘Made in Heaven’ won critical acclaim and the audience loved it from the word go, though Sacred Games went downhill after the first season. ‘Delhi Crime’ was well-received by the audience but the critics found holes in the screenplay and one critic mentioned in the review that the show was a ‘love letter to the Delhi police.’ Even the light-hearted shows like ‘Little Things’ and ‘Lust Stories’ failed to win over a wider crowd.

The term ‘good content’ is, in fact, very subjective. Some users prefer shows that are gritty, edgy and they would term it as good content, while for some users a feel good story would be good content. The scale of measuring good content can differ as per various users’ taste. The challenge for OTT platforms is creating interesting contents that can cater to the tastes of most of the users. Indian filmmakers have always been known to take the shortcuts for success, replicating a winning formula till the audience tires of it. It is yet to be seen if and how long that formulaic content approaches would sustain on OTT platforms where everything is at a click. More and more original contents are being churned out on OTT platforms or on their digital streaming sites, but more than the quantity it is the quality that will help these platforms retain or gain users.

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