The year 2020 has been a boon for the OTT platforms. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, for people confined to the four walls of their homes, binge-watching web series, savouring content available on varied OTT platforms became lockdown hobby of sorts. This tectonic shift left Indian audience disenchanted with TV shows. So, in such a scenario when the television industry is facing such a strong competition from OTT, what do television actors feel? And, if given a chance, would they take up web shows?
Madalsa Sharma Chakraborty, currently seen Anupamaa as Kavya, says, “OTT platforms are making a lot of good content these days. And, with many options to choose from, it is a treat for viewers. Not to mention the easy accessibility. Personally, I feel TV shows set a certain benchmark decades ago. That said, both platforms have their own charm, and I don’t feel threatened due to the rise of OTT. Rather, it gives more work opportunities for actors, which is a good thing.”
Expressing his views on competition between TV and OTT, Paras Kalnawat, who plays Samar Shah in Anupamaa, says, “There is no competition amongst our shows and web shows. Both the mediums are good in their own way. Many web series, like Aashram and Scam 1992, have amazing content. Our TV show is also trending and doing well on the app too. I am happy to see good content being made on both the platforms. In future, if offered web shows, I would like to play strong characters like Baba (played by Bobby Deol) in Aashram, or like Pratik Gandhi’s character from Scam 1992...”
Actor Manit Joura, who is currently seen in the newly launched show Prem Bandhan states, “I am getting good response for my new show. But, yes, in future there will be a lot of competition from these online platforms as they have fantastic content, and it gets better with each passing day. There is healthy competition, and it should be there, or else how will I try to improve? But, then, OTT and television are two different mediums, catering to different kinds of audiences. OTT majorly caters to metropolitan cities, while TV normally caters to both, rural and urban audiences.”
Pooja Banerjee, who is wowing the audience with her turn as Rhea Mehra in the popular TV show Kumkum Bhagya echoes similar sentiments. “The audience for television and web series is completely different, so there is no competition between two platforms. Of course, they (OTT platforms) have a lot of content, but I think television will never go out of fashion, and will always have a loyal audience. In fact, now our shows, too, are available on these platforms, and audiences like to watch them online,” she asserts.
Samay Shah, aka Gogi, from the long-running show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, says, “Yes, I do think people don’t really watch television, and I think TV faces competition from smart TV itself. Television might become vintage sooner or later, as the TV content is also available on smart TV, and can be viewed without advertisements or interruptions. Given a chance, I would like to do a web series in future.”