When streaming became a big thing, people said that this would be the end of the cinema system. Nobody spoke about streaming being a problem for tv. The pundits said that the audiences that watch streaming are distinctly different from those self-professed couch potatoes. Things went big and streaming evolved from being a type of content to a platform. Today, streaming is the third platform on which content is available – after the theatres and the television.
While tv and streaming was just starting to become a buzzword, content producers threw a surprise that essentially married tv and streaming, and the marriage conduits were home grown streaming platforms that were hungry for content but not patient enough to create their own. Lesser known platforms started putting tv content on their platforms. The idea behind this was that tv content is imminently enjoyable for all audiences, if only it veers away from its appointment viewing concept.
A few tv series made their way on streaming watchlists. This year, the line between tv and streaming has blurred. Several tv channels have launched streaming platforms which offer best of four worlds – original content, tv content, original foreign content and sports content. These are channels that are a green tick for all kinds of entertainment – foolproof.
The lines have been completely blurred now with reboots and sequels of popular tv series finding themselves on the streaming platforms. Shows like Sarabhai V Sarabhai got a season 2 on a streaming platform. There’s talk of Zabaan Sambhal Ke getting a sequel, again on a streaming platform. One of Indian television’s most successful IPs, Shaktimaan, is now available on a television platform. There have been talks of the show’s revival and even a film spin-off. If the Shaktimaan series renews interest in the franchise and we have a streaming original film, it would be equivalent to a couple coming back from a honeymoon, glowing bride et al.
Also Read : Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Take 2, Review
In the current scenario, the question about streaming cannibalizing tv audiences doesn’t arise, because streaming platforms want a pie of the high revenues that tv creates. So, a Nagin 3 is as much of a hit on the terrestrial channel as it is on the streaming channel that houses it.
And then, there’s always that case of TV and film stars coming to streaming projects and blurring the lines further. A Rituraaj, who was famous in the nineties for being part of soap operas, is seen in the web series The Good Vibes. Then there’s Nimrat Kaur and Juhi Chawla, both film stars who debuted with The Test Case for ALTBalaji. Mona Singh, the Jassi of India, came to the ALTBalaji fold with the web series Kehne ko Humsafar Hai, so did Rohit Roy.
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Not to forget, several tv channels now have their streaming channels to create more value for customers. Star TV has Hotstar, Zee TV has Zee 5 and Sony has Sony Liv. These platforms not just show tv content but also foreign content, which basically keeps the customers happy.
So, if anything, tv content and streaming content are strange bedfellows, not competitors. It is interesting, because the very idea of streaming content, at least in India, came from an entire generation eyerolling at the enthusiasm with which the previous generation watched soap operas. Today, both these generations are watching their favorite tv and web series on a shared data plan.
Weird, isn’t it?