How Online Platforms are Providing Opportunities to Artists

OTT Platforms

It is a matter of great pride for us Indians that Netflix’s 2019 docu-drama ‘Delhi Crime’ has won an International Emmy for Best Drama series. Besides this, ‘Four More Shots Please’, an Amazon Prime original, was also nominated for the Best Comedy series. Last year, Netflix’s ‘Sacred Games’ was also nominated for the best drama series for international Emmy. 

It is clear that Indian television, content and talent is also inching towards a golden age. And international recognition is following suit. The day isn’t far when this side of the world will command the attention of nearly half of the global audience.

To think, would this have been anywhere near possible, if not for technology and online platforms, that are committed to Supporting Artists and their craft and good content?

In the few years that online platforms have been around, we are seeing a revolution in terms of democracy of opportunities; more and more talented stories, actors, directors and writers are coming up, bringing in better and stronger content. Online content is coming up handsomely, thriving on hundreds of indie creators and screenwriters. Online platforms have, in turn, threw the spotlight on these creators, bringing in the long-overdue appreciation and applause that had been missing earlier. Now, Indie creators have an equal share of the red carpet as well as page 3. 

Content creation is finally flying north. Due to this slow but massive change, the audience’s appetite and tolerance for real and gut-wrenching stories have also increased. The more different, engaging and thrilling the movie, the more the movie can hope to make. This phenomenon has pushed content creators up, making them the decision-makers.

It has actually changed the whole ecosystem, as a matter of fact, including the playing field for actors too. The demand for great content has spurred the demand for great actors too, who can do more than look pretty- who can actually play the assigned role. All of a sudden there is a huge crop of amazingly talented actors, who have hardly ever been written about or even seen before. It seems like every new web series has never-seen-before actors, who are just as good as experienced actors. 

No more do we have to suffer through the same idiotic formulaic content that we were forced to watch up until a few years ago. Indie creators are now bringing in as varied, independent, diverse a story as themselves, to the table, finally proving to the rest of the world that India has no shortage of bewildering and engaging stories to tell. All this has been possible through technology and online platforms. 

How is technology democratizing the talent ecosystem?

The revenue model of an OTT platform is subscription-based. This means that every new OTT platform that is competing in the market is trying to market itself by virtue of its good content. The better and acclaimed the content, the more people will subscribe to it to watch their exclusive originals. 

That means, to make superior web content, you need a superior quality script with a boffo ending, with a superior cast that is able to deliver superior performances. 

Therefore, naturally, the selection process of OTT platforms, whether it be of scripts, or be it of the performers, is top-notch. You cannot hope to see anything less-than.

Which is why so many new faces are coming up and getting an equal chance to show their prowess, regardless of their background or appearance. That is the reason why a great number of new writers are able to share daring new stories and scripts, the kind of scripts that used to be rejected far too often for big-screen films. 

As a result, there has been an outpour of great content on Indian as well as International OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Sony LIV, Zee5, Voot, MX Player, etc. 

While Netflix and Amazon together have given us amazing content like She, Leila, Taj Mahal 1989, Made in Heaven, Paataallok, The Family Man, etc., local OTT platforms like Voot, Zee5, SonyLIV and others have also released some major head-turners, like The Verdict: State vs. Nanavati, The Tashkent Files, The Chargesheet: Innocent or Guilty, Asur, Scam 1992, etc. 

Not just content, online platforms have also rejuvenated, or in some cases, completely uplifted the careers of various actors like Sikander Kher, Bobby Deol, Arjun Mathur, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Sushmita Sen, Sobhita Dhulipala, Pratik Gandhi, etc. 

Apart from actors and scriptwriters, online platforms are helping all sorts of artists to spread their name and show their prowess to audiences far and wide. The bottlenecks of distance have been eliminated through technology. 

Favourite Platforms for Writers 

Take the example of writers and bloggers. Every day, thousands of articles, blogs and listicles are published every day from writers across the world on platforms like LinkedIn Articles, Reddit, Medium and others. Humorous, workplace, health, productivity, lifestyle- every genre and subject has several thousand writers, each with a dedicated readership. 

Many writers have claimed that they have been able to substantially increase their readership through blogging on Medium and, through it, their website traffic. It also gives them deep insights into various writing styles of other writers. 

And then there is YouTube….

Online platforms, especially YouTube, have really levelled the playing field for several artists like puppeteers, magicians, instrumentalists, Singers, and any other Performing Artist worth his salt. No longer do artists have to forage for gigs or jobs to make a living. All they need to do is upload videos of their performance onto YouTube. They can also create amazing portfolios on Instagram and/or Facebook. From thereon, it is all about talent.

Take the case of Prajakta Koli, the owner of YouTube channel MostlySane. Her entire career has been launched and flown in the very lap of technology. 

After the commendable success of her YouTube channel ‘MostlySane’ and her YouTube Original ‘Pretty Fit’, which featured some major celebrities, she has now been cast as a female lead in a Netflix coming-of-age series ‘Mismatched’, opposite Rohit Saraf. In no time, she also bagged a Dharma Production film called ‘Jugg Jugg Jiyo’.

This proves that real talent is no longer dependent on monopolistic producers, directors and cliques in the talent industry. Technology gives you more than enough avenues to get ahead. 

Whether you can get the farthest ahead depends solely on your talent, hard work and determination.