This fort­night...

The Brand Reporter - - EDITORIAL | CONTENTS - Ash­wini Gan­gal ash­wini.gan­gal@afaqs.com

Amonth ago we put Or­max’s Shailesh Kapoor on the cover; his com­pany is in the busi­ness of test­ing all kinds of video con­tent for com­mer­cial vi­a­bil­ity. The new­est and ar­guably most ex­cit­ing kind of con­tent in their prover­bial lab is OTT con­tent. Our un­der­stand­ing of the OTT genre, from a con­tent and cre­ation point of view, grew a notch through our chat with Shailesh. He of­fered the­o­ries on the rea­son most of these shows tend to be vis­ually and the­mat­i­cally dark, for in­stance.

This time, we de­cided to up our knowl­edge of the OTT space some more by ask­ing con­tent heads of var­i­ous OTT plat­forms about the chal­lenges they face while mak­ing their shows. And we don’t mean busi­ness chal­lenges; we spoke to them about the creative hur­dles they face while putting their con­tent to­gether – right from ideation to ex­e­cu­tion.

One of the big­gest chal­lenges is – the dearth of good script writ­ers. Not sur­pris­ingly, this is some­thing the fea­ture film fra­ter­nity laments about as well. OTT, as a seg­ment of con­tent, needs its own sen­si­bil­ity. And that will hap­pen when writ­ers pen sto­ries for this medium specif­i­cally, with­out let­ting the ‘TV style’ or ‘movie style’ of writ­ing di­lute their craft. Sto­ry­telling works best when not shack­led by for­mu­lae and num­bers, af­ter all.

Presently, OTT plat­forms ap­pear to be play­ing the vol­ume game. But there is some such thing as too much con­tent. Go­ing for­ward, the name of the game will change, as it should, and ex­cel­lent qual­ity will be­come a hy­giene fac­tor. More­over, in such a sce­nario, crack­ing the va­ri­ety code is a chal­lenge con­tent heads fore­see; OTT des­per­ately needs more gen­res.

Though it goes against the in­her­ent goals of OTT plat­forms, I won­der whether the con­tent teams that run them, will, in­ad­ver­tently or other­wise, de­velop their in­di­vid­ual plat­form brands ba­sis the con­tent. Say, will there ever be an ‘Ama­zon type’ show? A dis­tinct ‘Net­flix style’, per­haps?

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