Streaming platforms gear up for festivals

NEW DELHI : With movie theatres functioning at full capacity for the first festive season in three years, video streaming platforms are coming up with fresh content to make sure they don’t lose out in the race for viewers.

Amazon Prime Video has kicked off the festive season with Madhuri Dixit-starrer Maja Ma, and will have the next season of Four More Shots Please! for the Diwali weekend. Netflix is premiering Indian originals Mismatched, Qala, CAT and Monica O My Darling. Voot has begun streaming its reality show Bigg Boss that is popular online and MX Player will have international shows like The Secret Life of My Secretary and The General’s Daughter. OTT services that typically see a 15% spike in viewership during holiday period expect this year to be on similar lines, even though outdoor entertainment has resumed.

“Festive season is a big time for OTT platforms. Ensuring a good festive release, refreshing the bank of acquired content with festive titles and also offering a series of offers on subscriptions is something that we follow,” Soumya Mukherjee, chief operating officer at Bengali streaming service Hoichoi said. People may flock to cinemas during festivals but they return to the comfort and options provided by OTT as theatres and OTT provide two very different experiences, he said. The platform will be releasing an original titled Hello! Remember Me? for Diwali.

For Durga Puja, the platform offered 25% and 30% discounts on subscription renewals via online and SMS respectively, while new users were given a 20% discount on subscriptions. Festivities and the need for entertainment go hand in hand, and it always helps to add an incentive, Mukherjee said. Netflix and Disney Hotstar declined comment on festive viewing, but Zubin Dubash, chief operating officer of ShemarooMe and digital businesses at Shemaroo Entertainment said that though people travel and socialize during festivals, it is time to watch content together with family or friends, too.

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