With the Coronavirus-induced lockdown, OTT giants benefitted the most and they have been raking in big moolah with their exclusive contents. However, premiering Bollywood movies directly on the OTT platform without a traditional theatrical release has not been a profitable model for video streaming platforms. After the poor response to Akshay Kumar starrer Laxmii, the OTT platforms are reconsidering blindly buying rights of the movies based on the names involved.
The Hindi remake of Kanchana premiered on the OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar and received the highest viewership for any digital movie premiere. However, after poor word of mouth and negative reviews, the viewership dropped significantly. As per trade analysts, Laxmii managed to attain merely 50% of the estimated target owing to the star value and the goodwill of the stakeholders in the market.
Now after Laxmii debacle, Amazon Prime Video is considering a change in their agreement for their acquisition, Coolie No. 1. As per the reports, Prime Video has asked for an advance exclusive screening of the movie for content curation team before finalizing the deal amount. The OTT giant, who was earlier acquiring movies without watching the film, will now decide the price of the premiere rights based on the content.
The decision, reportedly, came after the realization by the OTT platforms that Bollywood producers are selling their movies to OTT platforms at high numbers and churning profit themselves. Additionally, acquiring big banner movies was never the business model of the OTT platforms but merely an experiment during the COVID-19 lockdown, which failed miserably for Laxmii. Viewership of digital platforms are more focused towards quality content unlike box office and therefore, even web series with no A-listers are getting better recognition and response in comparison to movies premieres with the face value.
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