T-Series, the biggest music label in India, plans to enter the over-the-top (OTT) content market this year and hopes to release three to four long-form web originals annually. The company has recently begun making films, with a biopic on choreographer Saroj Khan in the works and the rights to a book about VG Siddhartha, the man behind Cafe Coffee Day acquired. Additionally, a show for Disney+Hotstar has been finished and is expected to be released later this year, and another show with director Hansal Mehta is currently in production.
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T-Series Plans to Produce Direct OTT Films
In light of the generally underwhelming response to theatrical releases, T-Series also plans to produce 4-5 direct-to-OTT films per year. Since the introduction of COVID-19, OTT platforms have grown significantly, with the majority of people now relying on them for their daily dose of entertainment. As a content provider, T-Series recognizes the opportunity to serve this audience, as Shiv Chanana, senior vice president of films at Super Cassettes Industries, the company that controls T-Series, explained in an interview with Livemint.
Currently has Five Shows in Various Stages of Development
The company is working on both platform-commissioned programs and pitching concepts to OTT services for content. It currently has five shows in various stages of development, with budgets for the content ranging from 20 crore to 100 crore, according to Chanana. He went on to say that T-Series is also playing to its core strength of developing a full-fledged musical for Amazon Prime Video while exploring genres such as comedy, thriller, and biopics.
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Dubbed into Various Languages
As is common practice among OTT companies, the episodes will primarily be shot in Hindi and then dubbed in various languages. According to Chanana, it takes at least one and a half to two years to conceive, shoot, and put together a show.
Aiming for Four Originals Each Year
For this reason, the company is aiming for four originals each year, although it may eventually aim for higher quantities. The Report quoted Chanana, who added that "T-Series' top priorities are cinema and music, but the company is concentrating on what works best rather than approving anything right now. In the past, T-Series considered 10 to 12 theatrical releases per year, but today it considers 15-20 films annually."
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Several recent T-Series projects, such as Shehzada, An Action Hero, and Vikram Vedha, failed to attract audiences to theatres. Therefore, the company has opted to release a variety of films directly to OTT, including horror, comedies, and thrillers that might not be suitable for large screens. T-Series plans to distribute four to five of these films on various streaming services every year.
T-Series' decision to enter the OTT market coincides with efforts by OTT platforms to reduce costs, including content budget cuts in response to an increase in content piracy and sluggish subscriber growth that are impacting income.