Netflix’s recent breathless commercial was the perfect dose of surprise for its loyal and ever devoted customers. “That’s right; we’re spending billions of dollars and making every show in the world. Our goal is the endless scroll. By the time you reach the bottom of our menu, there are new shows at the top. And then singularity will be achieved”. This is an excerpt from the ad, and it proves why ‘Netflix is the New Black’ in town.
The last decade or so has seen a boom in the number of OTT, Over the Top media service providers. These companies, including the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Hulu, Now TV, etc., all distribute media products by bypassing the traditional broadcast (television) and multichannel networking systems. Whether it is Aria Stark’s revenge, Daenerys’ Dragons, Sherlock’s unparalleled intellect, or Ross and Rachel’s ‘will it or will it not’ love story, the list can keep going on;
Netflix has a show for everyone, irrespective of age, geography, or preferences. With a user base of 150 million subscribers and spending around $6 billion on new shows and productions, Netflix has revolutionized the way people get entertained. While the good old days remind us of ‘Chitrahaar’ and the one-weekend movie that we would wait to watch with the entire family, or in most cases, the whole locality,
Netflix and other OTT providers have made it possible for their viewers to watch whatever it is that they like, anytime, on any device, and anywhere in the world. This has been one of the most significant selling points for such media service providers. They have managed to cut loose the restrictions posed by traditional cable services that only allowed their users to watch their favorite shows at particular time slots and in front of their television sets. By entirely handing the control of what to watch, where to watch it, and when to watch, in the hands of the people.
Media providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime have managed to outdo the traditional cable services, which dictated upon its viewers these terms and conditions. Moreover, the subscription and maintenance of television and cable services are proving to be much more expensive than subscribing to Netflix or any other OTT service provider.
Fifty years ago, owning a television was a matter of status and pride. If you owned one, you had to play host to scores of people during cricket matches and screening of hit films. But today the situation is very different. From not owning television sets, there are households members that own 2-3 T.V’s. To add to this, like every other technology, television is becoming obsolete.
And in a dynamic world like ours, one becomes forced to ask the question ‘why not’. When the 16-inch screen of your phone can quench all your entertainment desires, the need to invest and maintain a 50-inch T.V becomes questionable? There is a belief that watching your favorite characters on a bigger screen will give you a new experience in itself. But in a world that is always on the move, it is vital that we too are flexible, agile, and ready to move.
In the years before Netflix and its companions, this meant that we had to compromise on our entertainment since we could not move with our T.V. Here again, Netflix pulled out its trump card and changed the way we were entertained while on the move. Netflix brought the content with us and even became the reason for us to enjoy those long and arduous journeys to our colleges and offices.
These trends and others have led many to believe that the future of the entertainment business indeed lies in the hands of service providers like Netflix. What is left to see is the extent to it,’ mainly because people still rely on the cable networks for sports and daily news’ to which these services will dominate and control traditional networks?
That our T.V’s have lost their value, is not a matter of debate, and this is seen in the graph presented above. We no longer need our T.V. to watch Will Smith weave his magic in ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ or marvel at Robert Downy Jr.’s sassiness in the Avengers. We have Netflix and other such media providers who have stepped in and not only made it possible for you to watch past content, but also give you the choice to watch and revel in the new age content that is getting created by the minute.