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Entertainment Industry in peril due to Covid-19?

As the society continues to combat the detrimental effects of Covid-19, it can be perceived that the tremors of this pandemic have been felt across all the sectors. The unprecedented consequences of this phenomenon have led to the loss of millions of jobs accompanied with unraveling a humanitarian crisis triggering hunger and starvation all over the world.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the imposed lockdown has battered numerous industries and the entertainment industry too, is no exception. With cinema halls shut, production activities suspended, television and film shootings on standstill and releases postponed, the industry is in dire straits.

The Prime Minister on the 24th of March, 2020 made a formal announcement of a mandatory lockdown and since then several cinema halls and multiplexes have suffered a huge blow whereas the various OTT (over-the-top) platforms have been placed in the limelight. As coronavirus continues to wreak havoc coupled with aggravating financial crisis in all the sectors, it has also severely hampered the lives of daily wage earners including the spot boys, makeup artists, stuntmen, light men and many more.

From Angrezi Medium, Gulabo Sitabo, Dil Bechara to Gunjan Saxena and many more, the production houses are choosing the OTT streaming platforms like Disney Plus Hotstar, Amazon Prime Videos and Netflix for the release of their movies as the main aim is to reach out to the audience and deliver their content. Without an iota of doubt it is not possible to achieve those box office numbers which otherwise is hoped for during a theatrical release but having considered the uncertainty created due to this catastrophe, turning to these digital platforms appears legitimate.

The demand for OTT platforms have soared high amid the Coronavirus resultant lockdown pertaining to the fact that, it is the only medium available in the present circumstances together with offering a cheap and comfortable experience. Cinema goers apprehended that the theatres might however reboot in the unlock phase but taking into account the gravity of the situation, reopening of the theatres still remains a farfetched dream.

Even when they resume, we are yet to ascertain if movie goers would flock back to the theatres immediately or remain reluctant to visit, due to the fear induced in them because of the rampant spread of the virus. It can be derived that the lockdown has greatly altered the content consumption patterns and even after situation eases and permission is granted for the reopening of these cinema halls/ movie theatres it will become pivotal to understand the needs of the patrons and function in accordance to the same as it would help them for bouncing back in business.

The cinema halls/ multiplexes will have to comply with all the safety protocols including particularly social distancing, sanitizing and much more in consonance with retaining trust and confidence among the viewers. The producers, distributors , exhibitors too will have to take all the possible efforts and initiatives to ensure maximum safety and security of their cast and crew like assuring that there is no overcrowding on the sets, the shootings are conducted at locations which are least affected etc

 Leading multiplexes expressed animosity / disagreement with the producers opting to release their films on OTT platforms, but taking into cognizance the magnitude of the crisis which has navigated, this decision seems quite justified.

What seems like a challenge to the entertainment industry is the way they sustain themselves in this rough patch after having incurred losses running into crores, by coming to grips with the calamity along with striving hard / endeavoring to adopt new strategies which would support to breathe some life and revive the ailing sector!

The Coronavirus pandemic has thrown the global economy out of gear and even after the transmission of the virus is curbed to a certain extent or the virus is eliminated and the lockdown is lifted it will take some time to get the wheels of the economy moving.Although at this present juncture still clarity remains unleashed on several aspects.

Some of them are stated below:

  1. Whether cinema will return post the tenure of Covid?
  2. Since viewers have adapted themselves to online streaming for more than six months now, can it be concluded that the digital platforms are the ‘new normal’ and are here to stay even after economic activity crawls in and normalcy returns?
  3. Will these digital mediums completely replace cinema and if at all they do, will they be able to offer the same kind of satisfaction and entertainment to the audience which actually a cinematic experience would normally provide?

    Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Nirali Deepak Parekh

    Awarded certificate of Excellence
    Authentication No: OT31371355792-4-1020

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