Source: Business Insider
- Multiplexes have taken a hit with latest movies making their way onto OTT platforms soon after their release.
- GST for movie tickets was reduced to 18% but multiplexes still face threat from cheaper subscription models from OTT platforms.
- Bollywood stars too are leaning towards these platforms.
The rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) or video streaming platforms has seen many Indians cut the cord with cable TV, converting sets into a smart ones to have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar and the likes.
Now, multiplexes, too, have taken a hit with recently released movies making their way onto OTT platforms not too long after their release in theatres.
A growing trend among viewers is to wait out for the movie to be available on platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime and thus ditching a trip to the movie theatre.
Big multiplex chains in India like PVR and Inox are already feeling the pressure of these OTT platforms. Both companies own about 1,300 multiplexes in India. Last year, multiplex owners started asking for a longer window before a movie is made available on OTT platforms.
When GST was introduced in India, it had also hit multiplex owners with the high entertainment tax of 28%. In December 2018, the GST rate cut was introduced providing a big relief to multiplexes, especially single screen theatre owners.
The rate cut brought down the tax on movie tickets to 18%. However, despite that, there is still a growing threat from OTT platforms that promise of entertainment in a viewer’s comfort zone.
Moreover, OTT platforms come with cheaper subscription models – Netflix plans in India start at about ₹500 per month while Amazon Prime offers a low price of ₹129 per month. There are over 20 players in India in the segment already and bigger entertainment houses are tuning in to the idea of OTT.
“The GST rate cut will cut movie ticket prices by about 10% and benefit the audience as well as multiplexes in the medium term. However, we perceive pricing inflation to be a long-term risk for the multiplex industry, especially with competitive pricing of OTT platforms, which provide consumers with many more options and a vast content library,” stated a report by Edelweiss titled WatchDog: OTTs to disrupt multiplex’s party?
The rise of popularity of OTT platforms is not just restricted to viewers but also Bollywood stars who are starring in original content for these platforms be it as a series or short film. Shows like ‘Sacred Games’, ‘Love per Square Foot’, ‘Ghoul’, ‘Mirzapur’, and others saw Bollywood stars forgetting about box office numbers for the web.