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The proliferation of OTT platforms effect on traditional cinema goers. A study on the urban population of Kolkata after Covid19 pandemic.

Dr. Jyotirmay Deb*

Faculty Techno India University (BFA – Digital Film Making-VFX)

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. Jyotirmay Deb
Faculty Techno India University (BFA – Digital Film Making-VFX)

Citation: Deb J (2022) The Proliferation of OTT Platforms Effect on Traditional Cinema Goers a Study on the Urban Population of Kolkata after Covid19 Pandemic. Global Media Journal, 20:57.

Received: 05-Nov-2022, Manuscript No. gmj-22-79611; Editor assigned: 08-Nov2022, Preqc No. gmj-22-79611; Reviewed: 22-Nov-2022, QC No. gmj-22-79611; Revised: 25-Nov-2022, Manuscript No. gmj-22-79611 (R); Published: 30-Nov-2022, DOI: 10.36648/1550-7521.20.57.339

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Traditional cinema is facing a new challenge in the form of OTT platforms, especially as it grows in the time of pandemic. Traditional cinema has faced fewer footfalls in theatres in recent decades. OTT platforms are an easily available entertainment medium throughout the year, for the cost of one or two movie tickets in multiplexes. OTT platforms give their consumers hundreds of films and web series. Films have become shorter, and some are just a collection of short films put together-an anthology. The web series trend is one of the most popular. Potboilers and mass entertainers have made way for subtler, more meaningful cinema. This paper will investigate the OTT platforms' effects on traditional cinema goers of urban residents of Kolkata. The study will also look into Kolkata residents' attitudes toward single-screen or multi plex cinema halls. The goal of the study is to identify the driving forces behind the switch from traditional movie theatres to OTT platforms, as well as the current situation of single-screen moviegoers and any alterations to their viewing patterns.


OTT platforms; Movie theatre; Film watching; Covid 1


There has been a big transition in the Indian movie theatre industry,

India is one of the world's biggest growing markets, with a GDP scale of 6-7 percent, a per capita consumption -rises of around 9 percent, as well as the third largest purchasing power parity economy in the entertainment and leisure sector, The tendency to spend on recreation and entertainment is growing, with favourable demographics and increasing disposable income, higher than the economy itself. The internet penetration continues to raising doubt about the future of the movie theatre industry is going given the technological developments that took the industry to the present position [1].

When it comes to Movie theatres, viewers prefer both single screen and multiplexes to watch a movie. Majority of the viewer’s go for a movie once very month and evening show is the most preferred time slot. Viewers are ready to spend 150-200 rupees to watch a movie. Both, English and Regional languages are preferred. Majority of the viewer’s opting to watch a movie in the theatre when it’s a highly content driven movie. Thus, a change in consumer watching habits can be seen where theatres were highly preferred for commercial/big star movies, but now it replaced by content driven movies. Reviews and Ratings plays a crucial factor and it becomes a deciding factor for the new age audience to watch a movie in theatre. The viewers who opt for movie theatres believe that theatrical experience, screen size & sound quality and ambience are the important factors that creates an edge over watching in OTT platforms. Movie theatres provide the users to watch a movie with a completely transformative experience.

The paper will investigate the current state of Kolkata moviegoers' decision-making behaviours.

Literature review

Sharma [2] in her article, “Are OTT platforms taking over theatrical experience?” demonstrates that, according to the Boston consultancy company, the size of India's OTT market is currently assessed at $0.5 billion and is expected to increase to $5 billion by 2023. She also observes that certain movies now frequently aim for the OTT path in order to reach their intended demographic. Undoubtedly, video streaming services have made it accessible, affordable, and simple to watch movies on the go, especially for those who prefer binge-watching.

Usmani [3] in his article, “India’s Online Streaming Infatuation Is Taking Over Its Love For Cinema” claims that by 2020, movie ticket sales are expected to increase moderately to about Rs 19,200 crore, compared to an estimated Rs 22,400 Crore for internet streaming services. He also draws attention to a recent EY report that claims that India's average speed is extremely low and that occasionally a five-second delay in video streaming due to loading would harm a fourth of a content publisher's viewership.

Bhattacharya [4] in her article, “India’s largest cinema chain is thriving in the era of OTT” claims that the country of India is horribly under-screened. In instance, China has about 60,000 screens, while India only has about 10,000. According to appearances, there are only 8 movie theatres per million people, and once Indians are released, two-thirds of them lose access to movies.

The big production companies and filmmakers are being forced to release movies directly onto the OTT channels rather than Cinema halls due to a tendency of people watching numerous content channels at once and a demand for new and unique material

The online media sector has come to understand over the past few years that India is a blend of several markets, each with its own distinct characteristics. Internet users who speak regional languages are increasing more quickly than those who speak Hindi and English. Since viewers always prefer to consume content in their own language, localised content exhibits uptake in terms of engagement. As a result, major streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix are spending more on creating content in eight other major Indian languages in addition to Hindi and English [5].

Mahendher et al. (2021) investigated how Covid-19over OTT platform subscriptions affected the Indian populace. The researchers found that consumers become more reliant on accessing content on OTT platforms as a result of lockdown and pandemic restrictions.

Younger generations spend more time watching content on OTT platforms than older generations do because they are more accustomed to utilising technology, according to a study of individual demographics.

By reading the above literature, we can gain an understanding of the OTT platform subscriptions ret, OTT platform subscriptions with language preference, over theatrical release its busyness possibility, etc., but we lack a clear understanding of the impact of OTT platforms on traditional moviegoers, including what they think about the migration of viewers (theatre hall to OTT platform) and what they want. Whether the migration is permanent or is affected by other circumstances was my paper's main topic.

Objective of the research

Single-screen theatres have been rapidly disappearing for the past 20 years. Due to a variety of reasons, including decreased profitability, the multiplex culture, shopping mall culture etc. By this paper the objective of the study is to analyse the effect of OTT platforms over the thinking processes of traditional cinema hall goers.

After the emergence of OTT platforms, and more notably following the pandemic, some people began to believe that OTT platforms may replace the culture of movie theatres. Movie theatres are their own industry. The primary goal of the research is to comprehend the mentality or psychograph about OTT platforms as opposed to the traditional movie going experience of Kolkata people knowing this allows us to conclude that the current OTT and cinema hall situation is a one-time occurrence or that the industry must evolve over time [6].


This Paper is based on a combination of research methods that include: Thematic analysis survey and observations.

Ethics statement: The participants were comprised of individuals who were invited to complete the survey. Participants were informed about the study objectives and of the confidentiality and anonymity of the responses prior to the commencement of the study. Digital consent was obtained from each of the participants. The content of the questionnaire had no sensitive information. The names of the participants were not collected; the responses were anonym zed to prevent bias. No ethical concerns aside from preserving the participants' anonymity were involved—following the standards of socioeconomic studies [7].

Sample selection and data collection: Participants in the current study are residents of Kolkata who access audio-visual content on OTT platforms using their smartphones. For the investigation in this article, we have used a non-probability sample. People are selected using non-random criteria; therefore not every individual from Kolkata has an equal probability of being chosen. We gathered information from many Calcutta University and Techno India University college students as well as a few IT professionals from Kolkata's sector all of them have smartphones with internet access. We have collected 200 data in total for this study.

Research question: The study was intended to provide answers to certain concerns concerning Kolkata's moviegoers and the industry's future.

1. What is the effect of OTT platform on the traditional cinema goers?

2. Is there any chance of obsoleting of cinema hall culture in Kolkata resent future?

Research design

For this study, we simultaneously administered open-ended and closed-ended questions to the same group of participants (a sample). We will analyse the coding and theme of the openended questions with descriptive statistics.

Survey questions

We disseminated both open-ended and closed-ended survey items to the same group of respondents at the same time for this study. In the same way that the responses to the close-ended questions allow us to assess the intensity of a specific emotion, the answers to the open-ended questions allow us to learn more about those emotions.

Close ended questions are

1. How many hours did you spend watching OTT content before the pandemic?

2. How many hours did you spend watching OTT content during the pandemic?

3. How many hours did you spend watching OTT content after the pandemic?

4. Rate your level of enjoyment when watching a movie on an OTT platform.

5. Rate your level of enjoyment when watching a movie in a cinema hall.

6. Do you believe movie theatres will become extinct over time?

Open ended questions

1. Describe your experience watching OTT content prior to Pandemic.

2. Describe your experience watching OTT content during Pandemic.

3. Describe your experience watching OTT content after Pandemic.

4. What do you think about OTT platforms as a platform for watching movies and other entertainment?

5. How do you love watching movies in theatres?

Data analysis

We'll talk about the data and attempt to analyse it in this section. We will start by presenting the results of the closed-ended questions. Graphs are used to display those quantitative data. In figure number 1 we have the answers of the question how many hours did you spend watching OTT content before the pandemic? (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Many hours spent watching OTT content before the pandemic.

We can understand from the figure most of the people use to spend their time with OTT only zero to two hours and very less amount of people used to watch OTT content more than 3 to 4 hours. That was the result of the close ended question, but when we asked the open-ended question in same context Describe your experience watching OTT content prior to Pandemic and we transcribed and fined code and then them we got some interesting findings (Table 1).

Question Codes Them
Describe your experience watching OTT content prior to Pandemic.

1.I was not subscribed any of OTT.

2.Only You Tube we have watched before pandemic.

3.No regular subscriber

4.During buzz of some content like Mirzapur, Sacred

5.Games etc We have took subscription. Not so use to

People was not addicted to OTT and most of the people used that for hit web series only.

Table 1. Describe your experience watching OTT content prior to pandemic.

With the help of these two responses, it is clear that the majority of Kolkata residents (based on the sample size chosen) were not particularly fond of OTT platforms prior to the pandemic. People use to take subscription when they got to know about any web series which was become so popular. They didn't exhibit any enthusiasm for streaming films on OTT platform before pandemic (Figure 2 and Table 2).


Figure 2: 2 Hours spent watching OTT content during the pandemic.

Codes Theme
Describe your experience watching OTT content during Pandemic

1.Spent lots of time in OTT.

2.Instead of you tube start finding new OTTs

3.Took too many subscriptions

4. MX player the free OTT gives us support during lockdown

5.Sexual content (Ullu aaps) was very demanding.

6. Shaw some old films in different apps and you tube.

Films and unpopular web series were also on the watch list, as was rising OTT consumption time.

Table 2. Describe your Experience watching OTT content during the pandemic.

From the above figure and table, we can understand that the watch time was increased and people were grabbing contents like they never had before. Non-popular web series with sexual content were also becoming popular at that time. The fascinating thing to note is that before the pandemic, people were not very keen of watching movies on OTT platforms, but this time they started doing so (Figure 3 and Table 3).


Figure 3: 3 Hours spent watching OTT content during the pandemic.

Question Code Theme
Describe your experience watching OTT content after Pandemic

1.Leave all the subscriptions took during the pandemic.

2.OTT consumption time reduced.

3.Unpopular web series are not in watch list. 

4.The desire to watch movies on OTT platforms has decreased

People are decreasing their OTT watch time, and the majority of them were only watching popular web series. The desire to watch movies on OTT platforms has decreased.

Table 3. Describe your Experience watching OTT content after the pandemic.

With the above figure and table, we can understand that the of Kolkata are decreasing their OTT watch time, and the majority of them were only watching popular web series. The desire to watch movies on OTT platforms has decreased (Figure 4).


Figure 4: Rate your level of enjoyment when watching a movie.

The rating of people's level of enjoyment when watching a movie on an OTT platform is shown in the above figure. 70 out of 200 individuals can't decide to go with the proper understanding of whether it's a nice experience or not so good because 1 is not so good, 7 is too good, and 4 is medium (Table 4).

Code Theme
What do you think about OTT platforms as a platform for watching movies and other entertainment?

1.Its easy to avail

2.Cheaper in cost

3.Loads of content in one plat form.

4.Time severs.

5.Series are ok but movies are good to watch at cinema hall.

6.Time pass tool in busy schedule.

OTT platforms are advantageous since users can utilise them when they have free time. Web series are acceptable, but movies should be seen in theatres.

Table 4. What do you think about OTT platforms as a platform for watching movies and other entertainment?

People enjoy watching web content on OTT but when it comes to decide that which kind of content, they want to watch then they become confused a bit (Figure 5).


Figure 5: Rate your level of enjoyment when watching a movie in cinema hall.

By looking at the aforementioned graph, it is clear that Kolkatans take great pleasure in going to a movie theatre to watch a movie. With 1 being "not so good" and 7 being "very good," the accompanying graph represents the ratings of the sample size we used for the study (Table 5).

Code Theme
How do you love watching movies in theatres?

1.Best experience of film watching

2.Quality time spending with family friend.

3.Ambiance is good

4.Sound is good.

5.We can concentrate better.

6.Prices have been rising in recent years.

7.The entire day has been reserved for filming.

Cinema hall is Quality time spending with family friend but it has become expensive and time consuming.

Table 5. How do you love watching movie in theatre?

According to the above table, people believe that movie theatres are the best places to view movies, but they also believe that they have certain time-consuming issues (Figure 6).


Figure 6: Movie theatre will become extinct over time.

When we surveyed respondents, we asked, "Do you think movie theatres will disappear eventually? 35% of respondents affirmed. Therefore, we may conclude that a majority of individuals believe the culture of seeing movies in movie theatres will continue, while less than 60% believe it will disappear.


These conclusions can be drawn from the data mentioned above 1. Respondents don’t want to migrate themselves from cinema hall to OTT platform completely some people thinks that OTT is for time pass and cinema hall is for quality time.

2. OTT platforms are good for web series and other forms of entertainment content, but respondents prefer seeing films in movie theatres since they are more enjoyable there.

3. Respondents increased their time watching OTT material during the epidemic, but as normalcy set in, they reduced their time watching OTT content, and some of them cancelled their memberships in several OTT applications. 4. The increasing cost of tickets at theatres is a worry for viewers.

Limitations of the study

The study had some restrictions. We have taken a large sample, that’s why we were unable to conduct in-depth interviews with the all candidates. Because of that, we might overlook some crucial information. In this study, various focus groups may respond in different ways. We didn't do interviews with several focus groups.

For further study

We can take a focus group and do some content analysis along with in-depth interview of the participant to understand the social and individual psychograph for film watching medium.


From the data, it can be said that people prefer watching content mostly in OTT platforms and occasionally in movie theatres. Convenience is the biggest reason behind the use of over-thetop application. Second biggest reason is choice of wide range of content. Third on is availability of content on demand. Reasons behind the change are convenience of service, personal medium and availability of international content. Yet still, viewers aren't willing to watch a new movie on OTT platforms, they prefer it on a movie theatre that offers them the cinematic experience, ambience, screen size, and sound quality that OTT platforms can't achieve.


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