The year 2021 has been the toughest of all, but the digital medium has been one that has gained a lot in the year gone by!! While theatrical releases did not happen for most of the year, the boom in the digital market was visibly pleasing to watch!! From the onset of Covid in the year 2020, we have seen a lot of movement on the digital front with many releases. The year 2021 was a big one, especially for the Bollywood market. The films that were ready for a theatrical launch were sold for huge money to the leading OTT platforms. This brought in a new wave of film watching on the digital medium. Also, a lot of new-age and interesting concepts have hit the web medium with regards to the web series and digital films.
So here are we at IWMBuzz.com listing out and discussing the important trends that the year 2021 has witnessed with regards to the web medium.
Big Banner Films See Light On OTT: The no-theatrical release phase saw a surge of Bollywood films releasing on the OTT mediums. 2021 was huge with respect to binge-watching on the OTT mediums. The viewers had a lot of variety to choose from, and of course, they watched their newly released movies from the comforts of their homes. RSVP Movies and Ram Madhvani’s Dhamaka starring Kartik Aaryan (Netlfix), Jeetu Joseph directed Drishyam 2 starring Mohanlal (Amazon Prime), Shershaah the biographical war film directed by Vishnuvardhan (Amazon Prime) and many more saw an astounding response on the OTT platforms.
Advent of Bigger Stars To OTT: The big banner film releases on OTT medium brought all the big and popular actors to face the market of the OTT platform. And what an emphatic time they had!! From biggies like Abhishek Bachchan (The Big Bull and Bob Biswas), Kartik Aaryan (Dhamaka), Sidharth Malhotra (Shershaah), Dhanush, Sara Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar (Atrangi Re), Suriya (Jai Bhim), the list of actors making it to the digital platform was palpable.
New Platform Launches: The international streaming platforms tapped the potential of the local language content to woo the Indian audiences. Netflix and Amazon Prime had already led the way for the launches of regional content last year. The next big step that was noticed in 2021 was the collaboration between STARZ, Lionsgate Television and Lionsgate India businesses. Lionsgate Play announced its first original Indian series with the remake of a great intellectual property like Casual. The series was directed by Kunal Kohli, Bollywood film director known for films such as Hum Tum and Fanaa.
Successful Seasonal Returns: The popularity of certain web series paved way for the seasonal returns!! Gullak 2 made under the banner The Viral Fever launched on Sony LIV in January 2021. The Family Man 2 (Amazon Prime) launched in June 2021 and received huge appreciation. Netflix released Season 2 of Kota Factory in September 2021 and it saw a resounding outcome. The fourth and final season of Little Things saw its release in October 2021 on Netflix. ALTBalaji came back with Season 2 of Puncch Beat. Disney Plus Hotstar came up with the past story of Himmat Singh with Special OPS 1.5. Aarya returned with a big bang with Aarya 2 on Disney Plus Hotstar while Amazon Prime had Inside Edge Season 2 releasing in December 2021. So the list was huge with respect to the popular seasonal returns in 2021.
Crime/Mystery/Thriller Plots Sure Formula To Success: 2021 was a good year for the mystery-laden thriller plots. For a very long time, these kinds of concepts have been engaging to the audience. But 2021 bolstered the chances of success for this genre of concepts. The results are before you. If you look at the most successful web series in the year gone by, most of them relate to this genre of intrigue and crime and mystery. Candy (Voot Select), The Last Hour (Amazon Prime), Tabbar Only Family Matters (SonyLIV), Aarya 2 (Disney Plus Hotstar), The Family Man 2 (Amazon Prime), Special OPS 1.5 (Disney Plus Hotstar), Aranyak (Netflix), Sunflower (ZEE5), Matsya Kaand (MX Player) are a few examples.
Malayalam Magic On OTT: Malayalam magic on the OTT platforms have created a new trend. The amazing concepts, the impactful response they have got on a national viewing level has been so splendid to watch and observe. The standard of Malayalam content has certainly gone top notch. This can be seen in the manner in which Bollywood has suddenly taken to adapting more of the Malayalam films and OTT concepts in Hindi. Drishyam 2 paved the way for all success on the OTT medium. This was followed by some unique presentations in the form of content like The Great Indian Kitchen, Nayattu, Joji, The Priest, Cold Case, Sunny, Operation Java, Malik, Kuruthi, Ayyappanum Koshiyum, Kappela, Kaanekkane, Bhraman, Minnal Murali etc. All of them have found an amazing connect with the masses.
These were the major trends that the OTT medium saw in the year 2021. With the pandemic phase still hanging on, a lot of amazing concepts in all languages will surely be made for the OTT platforms in the near future!!
As of now, we are in the best phase with respect to content in the OTT medium!!