NEW DELHI Video streaming platforms in India are producing more and more films that will be released for the first time in theaters as they seek to take advantage of the buzz at the box office and protect intellectual property (IP). Amazon Prime Video will release Akshay Kumar’s Ram Setu over Diwali weekend, while Telugu and Marathi services aha and Planet Marathi are also co-producers of feature films. Media and entertainment industry experts have said that while this is an organic transition for any content creator to maximize revenue, it is also a move by platforms to own IP. The move could also bode well for Indian cinema which needs cash-rich companies to finance projects.

“Streaming platforms are looking to own IP rather than pay a premium for the acquisition of theatrical films. Co-producing a film helps them participate in IP forever. Once a platform owns the IP of the movie, it shouldn’t renew the streaming rights as it should for the movies it acquires, ”said Gautam Jain, partner of media consultancy Ormax.

Even globally, the platforms have produced films that have been released in theaters and digitally, sometimes even on the same day, Jain said, adding that the priority for the platforms is to create or own IP between films and series.

Amazon Prime Video did not answer Mint’s questions about the idea behind film production. Theatrical releases were out of the question during the pandemic, but now no one wants to give up the box office box office, said Akshay Bardapurkar, founder of Planet Marathi.

“We understand that some longer or more concept-rich plots and stories will work better on OTT. But if there are films that can grab people’s attention, why leave an additional income? ”Bardapurkar said.

Plus, when a movie manages to create a stir at the box office, it captures more stares when it is streamed on OTT afterwards, he added. Furthermore, in the case of some films that want to take advantage of government subsidies, there is a mandatory clause for theatrical release, Bardapurkar pointed out.

It’s quite natural for a company involved in the content creation business to think it owns everything it claims, said Vaibhav Modi, founder-director of Victor Tango Entertainment, a production company. “It also creates an opportunity for long-term franchises and spin-offs that originated from those films, including web series. Also, as the lines between film and OTT blur, many talent who hold currency can travel between the two, ”Modi added.

Atul Mohan, editor of the trade magazine Complete Cinema, said the move was similar to that followed by American companies such as 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures Networks India, which first launched television channels and then began producing local films in India. “They’ll probably take small steps at first and gradually give the green light to more films. But it bodes well for the industry if there is a new studio-like entity making films for theaters that can then move on to satellite and digital platforms. “

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