Unlike the audience of decades past, audiences today are much more discriminating in their tastes and the traditional TV soaps would just not cut it anymore. Over-sensationalized crime dramas (like ‘Crime Patrol’ or ‘Savdhaan India’) just don’t impress Indian audiences of today. Neither do long-drawn, never-ending, generation-skipping family dramas.
Lately, more and more content consumers have started switching their entertainment source entirely to OTT platforms over traditional TV. A growing number of people nowadays prefer to watch OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot, AltBalaji etc., than they do cable TV or DTH.
A 2019 survey by MoMAGIC invested platform mChamp on OTT and DTH stated that 55% of Indians prefer OTT platforms while 41% still prefer DTH. These numbers would only have grown in the last couple of years since the survey was conducted.
Why do people prefer OTT over DTH or Cable?
There are a lot of reasons why audiences prefer OTT over traditional TV options like cable and DTH. Majorly, the quality of the content is a deciding factor. OTT shows, movies, and web series usually keep away from conventional, cringy storylines that our never-ending TV soaps are so fond of. Content that’s made especially for OTT is also much shorter. OTT shows mostly follow the season-on-season format of American shows.
With storylines that don’t drag beyond a few short seasons, it’s no wonder that most OTT content manages to keep viewers interested for the entirety of their run. Gone are the days when shows would run for a whole decade (or more!) on our TV screens. No more 20-year generation leaps for the new-age content consumers!
With a limited number of episodes, the plot has to be kept tight and focused. That also contributes to better overall quality of OTT shows. OTT shows have the freedom to explore bolder, darker, and grittier stories than is ever allowed on TV.
Netflix’s ‘Sacred Games’ explores the seedy underbelly of the garbage mafia in Mumbai; ‘The Family Man’ and ‘Mirzapur’ on Amazon Prime are both crime thrillers but angled from two different points of view – one focuses on Crimestoppers while the other on criminal bosses and their empire of crime; while Hotstar’s hard-hitting ‘Grahan’ delves into the anti-Sikh riots of the 1980s with a lot of heart and grit.
Of course, not all of the OTT shows are “good content”. There are a number of OTT shows and movies that are hardly palatable. For example, Zee5’s ‘The Casino’ is unintentionally hilarious – it’s so bad that you definitely want to stay away and maybe fulfill your glittery gambling fantasies by playing live casino games on legit online casinos instead.
Netflix’s ‘Bard of Blood’ is another show with an off-putting storyline and cringe-worthy dialogue. ‘Four More Shots Please’ on Prime maybe a hit with the masses but it deeply lacks substance and has an uncomfortable similarity to ‘Sex and the City’. So while most content on OTT is better than TV, there are always some misses mixed with the hits.
But there are more reasons why more and more people are making the shift from conventional TV to OTT than just the quality of the content.
On OTT, you have the option to watch your content ad-free. You just have to pay for an ad-free subscription. Anyone who has watched Indian television knows how truly annoying ad breaks can be. We are mostly very thankful for the ad-free nature of OTT platforms, even if we have to pay a little extra to get that.
Also, OTT and video-on-demand platforms give you the ultimate freedom to watch whatever you want, anytime, anywhere – as long as you have a stable internet connection. OTT has paved the way into short-term escapism for our generation – who among us hasn’t spent a weekend binge-watching our favorite show online?
With so much flexibility and the promise of no-breaks and quality content that OTT offers, who would ever want to go back to traditional non-smart TV?