OTT in Nepal: Viewers came to foreign apps, not domestic ones
At the time of lockdown due to Corona epidemic, the attraction towards OTT (over the top) increased in Nepal. After movies were released and new serials were shown on OTT, its users increased significantly in Nepal as well.
At that time, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus Hotstar, G5, Sony Live and other ‘OTT platforms’ established in the world market managed to attract the Nepali audience well. But while foreign apps are flocking to foreign apps, Nepali apps of the same nature like Iflix, Video Shop, and Cinemas did not get viewers.
Even though Nepal Rastra Bank has provided a loyalty card that can spend up to 500 dollars per year, the audience is increasing in foreign apps.
Iflix and Movie TV were not successful and were closed. Khagendra Lamichhane, the president of the company, informed that the app Cinema Ghar, which was launched in Nepal in 2016, has removed the subscription feature and made it possible to watch movies by paying for them.
Lamichhane, who became a director through the movie ‘Paniphoto’ along with an actor, producer, writer, joined Cinemaghar App in 2018. “When new content comes, the audience increases, other times it keeps increasing and decreasing,” he said, “now we are the ones to bring our own content.”
However, he said that he could not dare until the listing process was completed. According to him, their own ‘content’ will be brought only by making an annual calendar. He says that when one ‘content’ fails while preparing in this way, the audience can be ‘held’ by others.
Omprakash Agarwal, who has run Iflix and video stores, said that there is a risk of putting movies on OTT due to the problem of piracy. “Contents are not safe unless the perpetrators of piracy are severely punished. It is necessary to increase the literacy related to this’, he said, ‘not only by bringing the app, we are accumulating the necessary content to bring it to the audience.’
He said this is happening due to lack of education on piracy. He said, ‘After being caught, it is heard that the movie was pirated. Awareness about this should be spread. Because now the scenes shot even from the movie theater are scattered on social media.’ Due to the lack of indigenous content, the attraction of the audience has not increased.
Actor Arpan Thapa said that there should be no distinction between small and big screens in the production process. Even if we have prepared a series, we have to work hard like a movie. Actor Thapa said, ‘I have recently acted in a serial. Gradually we will work targeting OTT everywhere.’
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