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It’s no secret that the film industry has been hit hard recently. With the increased streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, people are increasingly willing to be at home and watch movies and TV shows from the comfort of their couches. As a result, movie theaters have seen a decline in attendance and box office revenues. But is this trend here to stay? Or will cinema make a comeback in the era of OTT platforms? Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.
The case for cinema
There’s no denying that cinema has its advantages over streaming services. For one thing, there’s the social aspect. Visiting theatres is a great way to spend time with friends or family, whereas watching a movie alone can be lonely.
There’s also the visual aspect. Movie theaters have state-of-the-art projection equipment that can provide an immersive experience you can’t get in your space, no matter how good your TV is. Finally, there’s the sound quality. Again, movie theaters have top-of-the-line sound systems that greatly enhance the viewing experience.
The case against cinema
However, there are also several compelling arguments against going to the movies. First of all, there’s the price factor. Ticket prices started to increase in recent years, and with concessions costs, going to the movies can be pretty expensive.
Secondly, there’s the time factor. With people’s schedules getting increasingly busy, finding two hours (or more) to sit down and watch a movie can be challenging. And lastly, there’s the convenience factor. With streaming services becoming increasingly popular, it’s easier to watch movies and TV shows on demand at home or even get off the couch.
It is no secret that YouTube has become a significant force in online video. With over a million active users, one of the inescapable platforms is Youtube, with a global reach.
Not only large venues benefit from this reach. Independent content creators have also found a home on YouTube, where they can quickly produce and distribute their content to a broad audience.
This led to the evaluation of a new breed of content creators who are not bound by the traditional rules and regulations of cinema. These YouTubers can experiment with different genres, formats, and filmmaking styles, producing unique and innovative content. In many ways, YouTube democratizes filmmaking and gives rise to a new generation of filmmakers.
So, what does it mean to the future of cinema? It is hard to say for sure. One thing is certain, though- the landscape of filmmaking is changing, and YouTube is leading the charge. Only time will tell the future for both YouTube and cinema.
Cinema has always been about the shared experience. There’s something about watching a movie on the big screen with strangers who can’t replicate it at home. But OTT platforms allow people to watch movies whenever and wherever they want—and that’s tough for traditional cinema to compete with.
In addition, many people are now hesitant to go out in public due to COVID-19, and it’s clear that conventional cinema is in trouble.
But all is not lost for cinema. There are still some things that OTT platforms can’t replicate—namely, the considerable screen experience. There’s nothing like watching a movie on the silver screen for true film fans.
Many experts believe that cinema will eventually come back—albeit in a different form than before. Drive-in theaters could become popular again, and we may see more niche theaters that cater to specific genres or audiences.
What will be the future of cinema in the era of OTT platforms
More original content
Increasing original content is one of the most significant changes in the film industry. OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu are pouring billions of dollars into producing their movies and TV shows.
In 2018, Netflix spent a staggering $13 billion on original content. And they’re not the only ones; Amazon Prime Video has also been making some big bets on original content, with a reported $5 billion budget for 2019 alone.
As OTT platforms invest more and more money in original content, we see a corresponding increase in budgets for those movies and TV shows.
Netflix’s The Crown, for instance, had a reported budget of $130 million for its first two seasons combined. That’s almost twice the budget of Game of Thrones’ first season! Of course, bigger budgets don’t always mean better quality, but they give filmmakers more room to experiment and take risks.
More diverse storytelling
One of the things about OTT platforms is that they’re giving rise to more diverse storytelling. In addition to traditional Hollywood blockbusters, we’re now seeing movies and TV shows from all over the world—stories that might never have gotten made otherwise.
You can find movies and TV shows from countries as varied as India, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, France, Japan, and more on Netflix.
New ways of distributing films
Traditionally, films would premier in movie theaters before eventually going to DVD or streaming services like Netflix. Nowadays, though? We’re seeing more and more films bypass movie theaters and go straight to streaming services. Recent examples include The Irishman (Netflix), Marriage Story (Netflix), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Amazon Prime Video), French Exit (Amazon Prime Video), and Palm Springs (Hulu).
One of the significant advantages of OTT platforms is that they are highly accessible. All you need is a stable internet connection, and you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want. This is especially beneficial for independent filmmakers who often struggle to distribute their movies through traditional channels.
With OTT platforms, they can bypass distributors and directly reach audiences worldwide.
Greater engagement with audiences:
OTT platforms also offer filmmakers a great way to engage with their audiences. Through social media platforms like YouTube and Twitter, directors and producers can interact directly with viewers and get instant feedback on their work.
This makes them understand what works and what won’t so that they can make better films in the future. Additionally, it builds a strong bond between filmmaker and viewer that can result in increased loyalty and Repeat viewership.
OTT platforms offer a more economically viable option for filmmakers. The high cost of making and distributing movies through traditional channels often means that only big studios can afford to produce films regularly.
However, with OTT platforms, even independent filmmakers can have quality content at a fraction of the cost. This allows for a greater diversity of voices and stories to be told, which is essential for any art form to thrive.
To get a better understanding of how OTT is impacting the film industry, let’s take a look at some of the numbers. According to a report by Ampere Analysis, global spending on OTT video will reach $159 billion by 2024. This is up from $79 billion in 2020.
At the same time, global box office revenues are expected to decline from $42 billion in 2020 to $38 billion in 2024. This means that, by 2024, OTT will account for 80% of the growth in the overall global video market.
There are several reasons for this shift. For one, OTT platforms are becoming increasingly popular with younger viewers. According to another report by Ampere Analysis, 71% of millennials say they would rather watch content on an OTT platform than go to the theater.
This is partly because many millennials don’t have the disposable income of older generations. They can’t afford to go to the movies as often as they’d like.
In addition, OTT platforms offer viewers a level of convenience that traditional forms of media can’t match. With the click of one button, watch whatever you want, whenever you want, without leaving your house. That’s not something you can say about going to the movies.
Finally, OTT platforms also benefit from the increased demand for original content. Viewers are no longer content with reruns of their favorite shows or movies.
They want new and unique content that they can’t find anywhere else. And OTT platforms are more than happy to oblige. Netflix alone is expected to spend $17 billion on original content this year.
In fact, according to a survey from Ampere Analysis, global spending on subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services is expected to reach $209 billion by 2025. That’s up from $160 billion in 2020. And this growth is being driven by OTT platforms. Ampere predicts that 2025, 62% of all SVOD spending will be on OTT platforms.
So what is going to be the future of cinema? While traditional cinemas might struggle in the short term, they will eventually rebound. And when they do, they will have OTT platforms to thank. That’s because OTT platforms are helping to drive awareness for movies and TV shows.
For example, when a new film is released on Netflix, people are likelier to watch it because it’s convenient and they don’t have to leave their homes.
And once people start watching movies on Netflix, they’re likelier to see them in theaters. That’s because Netflix creates a sense of anticipation for a film that can only be satisfied by seeing it on the big screen. So while traditional cinemas might be struggling right now, they will eventually rebound and have OTT platforms to thank when they do.
Both cinema and streaming services have pros and cons. So which is going to be on top in the end? Only time will tell. However, one thing is sure: The future of film is anything but certain in the era of OTT platforms.
The future of cinema is looking very bright. With the advent of OTT platforms, viewers have more control over what they watch and when. This has given new opportunities for filmmakers and content creators.
Contact us if you’re considering starting an OTT platform or looking for help. We are here to help you, from developing a business plan to designing and launching your platform.