A Movie's watch-price is priced less than a cup of Tea :(
Single Tea : Rs.10/- | A Chocolate : Rs.2/- | A Movie : Almost Free :(
The Music Industry has faced such a downfall in the past decade. Now Music is almost a freebie. With the Advent of OTT Platforms and digital home & Mobile entertainment, to attract mass population to start using the platform, most content was acquired, almost for free. Biggies earn on Indie's sacrifices. Many organisations sourced content at a Big cost from Big Production Companies and adjusted the expense by sourcing content from small producers under the revenue share model.
Thus the small players were attracted, to give their content for free to these platforms. These platforms advertised that they have a huge library, (of which most movies are on revenue share) which the users are never aware. They sold their App subscriptions for a monthly / yearly fee to watch all the content. But what they did was , they made the small providers advertise at their own expense saying their content is available in these platforms thereby the platforms gained a free promotion / advertising for their Apps & Websites.
These platforms advertised and promoted only the content they bought outright. They just don’t care for the movies which are on revenue share because if a users starts to see the movies which are streaming on revenue share, then the platforms has to start paying those creators. They made a design of the app / website in such a way that it shows only the Big Stars upfront and made it difficult to find newly added content from small providers under each category / genre. They dont give users a facility to sort the movie library under each category by 'recently added items'. Also most OTT platforms do not give the content owner an instant tracking dashboard to monitor the content performance on the platform. Some either give a bogus delayed updated and some give a quarterly report with no much detailed data and no transparency.
Thus small content providers kept advertising continuously and got tired as people land on the Platform to watch the content from big stars. This is the Dark Side of OTTs. These platforms know that individual persons cannot advertise and compete with the advertising Reach of the platforms themselves. Hence they made sure the movie library is sorted only by the no. of views each movie has. The moment someone watches a movie given on revenue share, the platform has to start paying the content owner. Hence they made it so difficult for a user to easily find a small movie.
For small Indie Artists, the revenue slowly became peanuts. If the viewership of these movies decline, new content would be replaced and the old ones would be removed. More over, these platforms have created a habit with the audience that Art can be watched for a rock-bottom price or free(with Ads). Example, an OTT platform charges a user 1000 rupees per year and give them a music app, a movie app, free delivery of goods via online shopping, all unlimited.
This make a cost of a movie watch, a stooped down tipsy penny, much lesser than a chocolate or a single cup of Tea. It is as good as free for the public. The Big stars survive as they get upfront payment and the small one take the beating, whilst the platform advertises they have a huge library and make merry. This was the same strategy they used to destroy the music sales of upcoming / new artists for library building and subscription fee based income. Looks like OTTs are a part of telecom industry. Now it's happening to movies. Due to the selfishness of these platform who join with big studios & telecom companies, Art & new talent is now a bait.
So I requests the producers not to give their movies for free to these platforms on the revenue share model. Sell your movie where the end price for a user is a decent cost and that is when an art gains respect and you gain some income. Once there are no movies given on revenue share, these platforms cannot pay only the biggies such high price and also for the end user they cannot advertise that they have 1000s of movies and they cannot give their platforms to users where the cost of per movie is so cheap. Thus the audience will also come to a situation to pay for each content appropriately.
The big OTTs have slowly realised that the snake (Model) they grew is biting them back. In a rush to make quick money and gain subscribers they have destroyed the creator economy. In fact end users have also realised the money the pay to all the OTTs as subscriptions together to watch few movies a month is so high that when you calculate one movie's watch price its way higher than a Pay-Per-Movie model. This awareness has brought the cancel culture and the OTTs are now starting to shiver due to high subscription cancellations. That's why I keep saying when you build a business model, do not think just about you business, think about the habit you create in users in the industry. I repeat, 'If you grow a snake(habit), it bite you some day.
In short, Pl. remember, if you can't sell your content outright or with a good MG (Minimum Guarantee), TVOD / Pay-Per-View with an Instant Tracking system is the only transparent method available and nothing else will benefit the filmmaker. Right now I request the public, to Respect Art, Save Indie Artists by Paying them individually (PPV / TVOD Model), so that the content creators also survive to give you a better entertainment in the future.
Solution: Pay Per View is the most genuine model for OTT platform. It's also called as TVOD. When there is a live sales tracking dashboard to the content owner, the system becomes transparent. Every movie gets what it deserves and it becomes feasible to advertise them. Quit OTTs that package multiple movies at a fixed price.
Note. Primarily, Selfies are made for mobiles and movies for the big screen. Watch movies on Big Screen if possible and see the energy and true entertainment in its originality.
~ An Article by Arunkanth, Founder of 'AK Online' - OTT Platform for Independent Films. This platform was built to address all the above issues a filmmaker faces and make a transparent ecosystem that puts the the content creator's aspirations in the purpose of building a business model that creates a healthy environment that does not destroy the very purpose of content creation. This model also reduces the user's money wasted on movies that they don't watch and charges them only for the movies they choose to watch so that the users will also organically be invested into the content.