OTT vs Theatre

ott vs theatre


  • During the COVID pandemic, paid subscribers of OTT (over-the-top) platforms (Ex- Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar etc. ) have increased at a rapid rate. In recent days, a few movies were directly released in OTTs. More and more new OTT platforms are being launched giving tough competition to theatres.

OTT platforms:

  • Pros of OTT platforms:

    • We can watch the content whenever we want to. OTT platforms provide flexibility and convenience.
    • Some people, who live in remote areas do not have theatres nearby. And for some others, going to theatres is difficult due to disability or restrictions. OTT platforms are inclusive and enable everyone to watch the content from home.
    • For binge-watchers, OTT platforms are cost-effective. As there is no need to pay for each and every movie, people can watch plenty of movies and other content for just a subscription price.
    • Sometimes, makers of small movies struggle to release their movies in theatres. Moreover, they do not afford to spend so much money on promoting the movie. when there are no famous stars in the movie, it’s a bit difficult to bring the audience to the theatres. For them, OTT platforms are a boon. They can reach a wider audience.
    • OTT platforms are making original movies, which are getting applause for the quality content. This is forcing regular movie makers to think differently and to make quality content.
    • NRIs (Non-resident Indians) can now easily watch Indian movies due to the proliferation of OTT platforms.
    • As OTT platforms are providing subtitles for many movies, we can watch movies of other languages too. This facility is giving us a wide variety of content choices.
  • Cons of OTT platforms:

    • The growth of OTT platforms is a threat to many jobs in theatres. Even though OTT platforms are creating plenty of new jobs, they are skilled jobs. Moreover, Theatre owners have spent crores of rupees in building infrastructure. But now, due to OTT platforms, they are not getting enough returns for their investment.
    • Not everyone has smart TV or smartphone yet. Moreover, to watch and experience 3D and 4D movies, many people have to go to theatres. So, OTT platforms cannot completely replace theatres.
    • For people who watch movies occasionally, OTT platforms are expensive.
    • In general, Indian films make huge profits by releasing movies in US and European countries. But with releasing movies on OTT platforms, they are losing one of the main revenue sources.


  • Pros of theatres:

    • Going to the theatre to watch movies is a different experience, which cannot be replaced by any content streaming platform.
    • Meeting friends and family for watching movies in the theatre improves relationships and bonding.
    • Theatres provide employment to many skilled and unskilled workers.
    • To watch and experience 3D and 4D movies, many people have to go to theatres. So, OTT platforms cannot completely replace theatres.
  • Cons of theatres:

    • For binge-watchers and for big families, going to theatres is expensive in the long run.
    • During the COVID pandemic, people preferred staying at home. So, this proved that theatres cannot survive in epidemics, pandemics and in other similar situations.


Both theatre and OTT platforms have their own advantages and disadvantages. OTT platforms have a lot of scope for growth. But that doesn’t mean that they can replace theatres. In the foreseeable future, both will stay and continue to entertain the audience.

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