Shoojit Sarkar’s Gulabo Sitabo, which premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, is expected to attract many more viewers on an OTT (Over The Top) platform and earn much more for producers than in the theaters, according to analysts monitoring the company.
Due to the blockade caused by the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), the film first had to follow the OTT route and not the usual cinema route.
The cinemas are expected to open in July as part of the government’s Unlock 1.0 programme. Business analyst Komal Nakhta told Business Standard that due to the hype surrounding the release of the film, he expects more viewers to turn to Amazon Prime to see the film.
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The film is normal, but at OTT it will go much better thanks to the hype built up on social networks. In addition, Amazon Prime has produced the film in 15 languages in 200 countries, which means that the film is not only looking for viewers in India.
Amazon Prime has about 17 million subscribers in India. Based on monthly active users, Chiyo and Hotstar have a share of 35.5% and 30.3% respectively. Amazonas Prime’s share is 14.8%.
KPMG has linked the OTT market in India with more than 325 million users and says it will reach 550 million users in 2-3 years. Digital media expert Shrenik Gandhi, co-founder of White Rivers Media in Mumbai, said the success of the film would depend on the number of paying subscribers to Prime.
Normally part of the content of the OTT platform is free of charge. The question is how many users want to switch from free to paid content in order to access content such as the premiere of this film, he said. Amazon Prime refused to share the figures of the first day with the viewers of Gulabo Sitabo.
But experts say that compared to moviegoers, no more than 0.6 to 1.2 million people in the cinemas, depending on the average ticket price of 50 to 100 rupees per person, millions of viewers would see Gulabo Sitabo on Prime.
The first film to replace the cinema release was Navaddin Siddiqui Humketu, which was released on the 22nd. The premiere of May in Zee5 took place.
It included more than 23% of the platform’s 80 million active users per month, which is a clear indication of the trend at the time of Covida, according to experts.
According to analysts, Gulabo Sitabo was produced with a budget of Rs. 40-45, while Prime’s flow rights for Rs. 60-65, which helped the producers to earn more than Rs. 20.
Nakhta said that if the film had gone to the cinema, he wouldn’t have had a collection of 60 rupee bills at home. This means that the manufacturers would only recover Rs.30 crores, as 50% of the collections would have to be shared with the exhibitors.
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In addition, the producers would receive an additional Rs. 10 on advertising campaigns. So the total budget of the film would be Rs.50-55, which would further increase the profit.
But thanks to the agreement with Amazon, the manufacturers of Gulabo Sitabo can not only earn a nice amount of money, but also individually obtain the rights to a profitable satellite. But after the launch of OTT, the value that producers can receive from broadcasters for a television premiere is much lower, some experts warn.
Sarkar’s decision to switch to the OTT platform first, despite the strong resistance of the exhibitors, some of whom threatened to retaliate, has, according to experts, already led many others to join the Gangcar.
According to industry sources, at least 12 to 15 more films (except Shankuntala Devi with Vidya Balan and Tamil Pinguin) in Hindi and several regional languages are expected to be signed with the OTT platforms by the end of the month.