OTT is massively popular, not quite

The Covid-19 Pandemic proved to be an opportunity for the Over-The-Top or OTT platforms. It gave the medium the breakthrough which it required. Yet, it continues to be seen as an alternative to the other forms of media. Read on to know more:

Since the pandemic came to being, there was most certainly a need felt of having a mode of entertainment from the confinement of one’s home. The OTT platforms ticked the right boxes and soon found their way as a preferred choice not only among the viewers but also the mainstream actors and likewise who now, consider it a much more reliable space.

What we commonly hear about why the medium is popular is because it gives access to a versatile range of content, all while being in the comfort of one’s home. Digitalisation at a large scale is staunchly supporting the preference for OTT platforms. But, over the time, we have heard that the content provided is ‘controversial’.

What comes into play is the generational gap, the disparities between the youth and the elderly. The conflict between the ideas of both the sides arises because of what is presented. What the elderly would see as offensive or hurtful to them, might not be the same for the youth. OTT has provided web series, movies and so on which depict what in a theatrical release or a television show would be censored.

It was because of the ideals which had governed the social structure for a significant period of time. But changes take place constantly. With time, the audience which consumes the content for entertainment has also evolved and and OTT became the space for showcasing the productions which the evolved audience would like to consume.

A Dive Further into the OTT Space

A scene from Made In Heaven, streaming on the the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video.
Image Source: The Wire

Many people who would have got a close look at some of the movies and web series like Made In Heaven or Lust Stories would have raised their eyebrows at some of the scenes. This is what forms the crux of the disparities. The OTT platforms keep up with the audience of recent times, the youth, to be specific, when showcasing something.

A decade back, people out of shame did not even want to talk about issues which are shown through the web series and movies. This is what translated into the entertainment medium too. The soap operas and TV serials were all centred on maintaining familial bonds.

In Made In Heaven, Arjun Mathur as Karan, is homosexual. His landlord’s wife doesn’t deem it to be acceptable and persuades her husband to have him arrested. Karan then fights his way to garner support for people like him, who remain closeted out of the fear of ostracisation and in severe cases, to be penalised. Now, with the increase for the acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, the audience would want to incorporate it into what they want as consumers.

The same cannot be said for the generations prior. The youth’s idea of acceptance might not be similar to that of the elderly. What it would be is offensive. It was prevalent among the rom-com genre. The prime characteristics of this genre would be ‘guy gets the girl’. The society was conditioned that way that only members of the opposite sex are meant to be together. New ideas also give rise to new demands. The viewers now have knowledge that though inculcated but it is not essential for a heterosexual relationship to be the accepted form of a relationship.

Girl Power

A scene from Four More Shots Please !
Image Source: Amazon India

We have seen satires and parodies of the TV shows and soap operas being mocked for showing a woman being the ideal ‘bahu’, adhering to the whims of her in-laws, being a dutiful wife for her husband, pining for him. A dive further again, that was how the society was in its actuality for a long time. Though it is the woman who is a passive character in the serial, it is still mocked by women themselves along with the men. The women themselves don’t want to be a version of the one on the screen. Even men are are on their side in their battle against the patriarchy.

Four More Shots Please! revolves around the lives of four women who encompass a great deal of zest and live life to the fullest without guilt. Shows like these are now made an example of and advocated for by the audience which considers the female force as equivalent and not as subjects of oppression. That is how a girl wants to be identified now, unapologetically herself, not to be ‘determined’.

OTT has kept up its pace and production with the demands of the viewership that seems to be progressive but falls short of providing the same to all of the audience which is also composed of the prior generations. This, along with the conflicting ideas of acceptance and offence, only leave the scope for locking of horns.


Q- How have OTT platforms influenced the consuming of entertainment ?

Q- How is OTT a challenge for other modes of entertainment ?

Q- Is it justified to censor OTT just like other modes ?

Q- What is the difference between OTT and traditional content ?

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