‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon Ek Jashn’ to ‘ICC World Cup’ What’s hot on the Indian OTT scene

MUMBAI: The latest buzz about town is how Netflix is all set to launch in India later this week. But even without the American Video On Demand (VOD) giant, India’s over the top (OTT) scene has kept pretty active, thanks to all the new and edgy shows that the different platforms streamed last year and some more lined up to storm digital screens later this year.

Hotstar, #Fame, Sony Liv and Ditto TV have kept the market up and running with carefully curated content, which paves way for a promising future for web-only content in 2016. In the light of the OTT space hotting up, Indiantelevision.com compiled a list of such initiatives on digital platforms in India that made an impact in the web-only content market.

1) Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon -- Ek Jashn: No sooner did word get out that this phenomenal fiction show from Star Plus, that ruled the tele ratings chart three years back, was going to have a reboot through the network’s OTT platform, Hotstar, fans of the show were already going gaga over this mini-series. It was a clever move on Star India’s part to not only evoke nostalgia for the popular show but also turn a chiefly television audience towards its OTT platform.

2) Love Bytes: While television is slowly only just proceeding to handle progressive and bold content, digital has been way ahead of its broadcast counterpart in this arena. Take Sony Liv’s exclusive web series Love Bytes for example. Targeted mostly at metro centric netizens, this show, which was initially launched on Zoom, was later moved to Sony Liv as India’s first-ever show exclusively for the digital platform.

The 26-part series, which stars Kushal Punjabi and Sukhmani Sadana, portrays the ups and downs in the relationship of the lead characters Ananya and Abhishek.

3) On Air with AIB: Think web only and YouTube in India, and the very first name that comes to your mind is All India Bakchod or simply AIB. Therefore it was no surprise when Star India roped in the four comedians for a new show On Air With AIB on Hotstar albeit with re-airings on Star World and Star Plus. This OTT first show garnered a huge response from the millennials and can be easily considered one of the breakthroughs in digital content. Inspired by factual comedy that is patented to American comedian John Oliver for his show Last Week Tonight, On Air With AIB delivered a new breed of comedy that makes fun of burning social issues and at the same time strikes a key note with the audience.

4) ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Hotstar became a new partner for all cricket fans in India early 2015. With its epic launch with ICC Cricket World Cup played in Australia and New Zealand, the VOD platform leap-frogged to one of the most downloaded apps. The matches were played in the wee hours of the morning leaving Indian fans fuming in dismay. In came Hotstar and in a jiffy Indian fans took to the app to get a fix of their favour favourite sport.

5) Re-Gender (Indian adaptation): The new kid on the block in the digital content scene, Arre from Ronnie Screwvala's UDigital is also all set to take everyone by surprise with edgy content that is rumoured to set some new standards in the industry and blur other lines. For starters, the platform plans to release a provocative docu-reality show that is inspired by Israeli LGBT show Re-Gender. Distributed by Armoza Formats, the show’s format allows gives men and women a chance to experience life of the opposite sex.

While the show’s title in India remains tentative in India, it will be interesting what comes out of the three weeks’ shooting time at Chhatarpur in Delhi.

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