There is a market for 'failed' and low-budget films on OTT : Debashish Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer - Zee Digital Convergence Ltd. Essel Group
Updated on: 16 Nov 2015
Netflix shook up the cinema establishment in the US when it had the temerity to release Beast of No Nation simultaneously in theaters and on its streaming platform. The movie, acquired at a cost of Rs 78 crore, did not do well at the theatrical box office (less than $100,000 gross), but it got more than 3 million views on the Netflix app.
However, CEO Reed Hastings are going ahead with their strategy of doing simultaneous releases of future projects like The Ridiculous Six, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II in the coming months.
Indiantelevision.com got in touch with Essel group OTT play ditto TV CEO Debashish Ghosh on what he thought about Netflix 's bold gambit, whether it would be tried in India, and whether it would work with Indian viewers. Read on to hear his views in one of the more entertaining interviews we have had in some time.
Q: Were you stunned by Netflix's move to do an OTT release for Beast of no Nation simultaneous with the theatres like the mainline exhibition community in the US was- so much so that they refused to release the film and it got a limited release?
"Stunned" may well be too sharp a rhetoric - since its not unnatural for subscription OTT platforms to find ways to showcase content PRIOR to standard and accepted platforms. Otherwise why would a consumer pay?
That's one of the reasons we at DittoTV are also looking at driving "content before TV / Anywhere" as a proposition as well. Significantly before!
But please don't ask for more details as of now - give me 15 days and then we shall give you an exclusive if you want it.
India is in the nascent phase of OTT. But it has a strong heritage of filmmaking and is probably the largest producer of films worldwide.
No doubt about that. But the mindset of film producers understandably is different here – especially the mainline ones – as they prefer making money upfront rather than later. While we understand why, it is still a limiting factor as well - for most OTT platforms - which are not also producers of films as well.
How large is your film catalogue for OTT both Bollywood and international?
We do not yet have a significant International Catalogue of movies but there are some imminent actions on that soon. As far as Bollywood is concerned - we can only put up content on our platform - for which we have rights. And we have a library of around 3000 movies - which are already up and running.
Does films get views? How much of your audience watches catalog films on OTT? How much time? And how often?