OTT platforms taste success in adapted content

A third of all films ever made have been adapted from novels.


MUMBAI: The enthusiasm around Hotstar Special Criminal Justice was noticeable on social media platforms since it started streaming on the platform from 5 April. From well-known faces in Bollywood fraternity to mass audience, the Indian adaptation of the British TV series has been appreciated by different clusters of audience. With the success of the Applause Entertainment-produced web series, it is evident that adapted content works well across mediums.

Starting from movies, the adaptation format has travelled a long way through television to reach the youngest medium of entertainment, over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The text-to-screen phenomenon grew on the back of films as experts say a third of all films ever made have been adapted from novels. Later, novels and other literary forms found a place on satellite television during the early 90s. Sherlock, Game of Thrones, American Gods and Sex and the City are a few examples of popular adapted TV series.

While audience enthusiasm for adaptations has always been high, streaming platforms weren’t far behind in latching on to the demand. House of Cards, the series which turned around Netflix’s fortune, is an adaptation of a BBC miniseries of the same title which is based on the political thriller novel by Michael Dobbs. Over time, the leading OTT platform released many adaptations such as A Series of Unfortunate Events and 13 Reasons Why. Very recently, Netflix has acquired the rights to adapt Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude as a new series, the first filmed adaptation of the masterwork.

Both international and local OTT platforms in India are also laying their hand on this genre. Netflix started out its journey of originals in India with Sacred Games based on Vikram Chandra’s novel of the same name. Later, it launched cricket drama series Selection Day based on a novel by Aravind Adiga. However, the latter could not create a buzz like the former. The platform is also adapting Salman Rushdie’s acclaimed novel Midnight’s Children, a very relevant literary work in the Indian context, into a series.

ZEEL’s digital venture ZEE5 also contains adapted content but rather than adapting a novel, the platform has chosen short stories. During ZEE5 Film festival last year, an adaptation of writer Saadat Hasan Manto’s Toba Tek Singh directed by Ketan Mehta was released on the platform. At the beginning of this year, it launched a web-series titled PARCHAYEE – ghost stories by Ruskin Bond based on handpicked stories written by the renowned author. Although the platform is inclined towards short story format, it has adapted a novel too. The Final Call is a web series adapted from author Priya Kumar’s popular novel I Will Go With You.

Hotstar seems to have a different type of adapted content compared to other platforms. Under its partnership with Applause Entertainment, the platform is bringing two more Indian adaptations of renowned international TV shows such as The Office and Hostages followed by recently launched Criminal Justice. Rather than taking the traditional route of text-to-screen format, the platform is experimenting with two different narrative structures of video. But according to traditional definitions, a film, TV series or play that has been adapted directly from the written work comes under the umbrella of adaptation. Hence, there might be different approaches while terming The Office, Hostages and Criminal Justice as adapted content when instead they may be termed as remakes.

The success of adaptations has made it clear why the format is popular. By creating hype around adapted content before its launch the promotional campaign is easy. On the other hand, the failure to meet audience expectation also makes the gamble difficult.

Latest Reads

Sachin, Sehwag to open for India again

MUMBAI: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, one of the most fearsome opening batsman of all time Virender Sehwag, the legendary West Indian Brian Lara, lethal Aussie speedster Bret Lee, one of Sri Lanka’s most stylish and dependable batsman of all time Tillakaratne Dilshan and the one and only, who...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Netflix’s mobile-only plan in India exceeds expectations; to help invest more in content

Netflix has bounced back in its Q3 2019 financials by posting revenue of $5.245 billion, which was almost in line with analysts’ prediction of $5.25 billion and was up by 31 per cent y-o-y. While the expected earnings per share were $1.04, Netflix boosted that by delivering $1.47. This is almost...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Ali Hussein promoted to CEO at Eros Now

MUMBAI: Ali Hussein has been elevated to the post of chief executive officer (CEO) at Eros Now, the digital arm of Eros International PLC. Hussein joined the organisation as chief operating officer in 2018. His experience spans over 15 years in the media entertainment and digital space. Ali has...

iWorld Over The Top Services
ZEE5 and Wework host discussion on changing landscape of the digital world

MUMBAI: Addressingthe rapidly evolving digital ecosystem in India, ZEE5 India and WeWork India today co-created an evening of discussions on the Changing Landscape of the Digital World.Tarun Katial, CEO – ZEE5 India, India’s fastest growing ConTech brand, and Ryan Bennett, CWeO of WeWork India,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
ShemarooMe’s platform design gets recognized at ‘India’s Best Design Awards 2019’

MUMBAI: Shemaroo’s video-streaming OTT platform- ShemarooMe's design has bagged India’s Best Design Project 2019 award at the recently concluded ‘India’s Best Design Awards 2019’ organized by Indi Pool for the work done by Fractal Ink Design Studio on its user interface and experience. The award is...

iWorld Over The Top Services
VICE Media Group taps Rohit Tugnait as Commercial Director, India

MUMBAI: VICE Media Group, the world’s largest independent youth media company, is pleased to announce the appointment of senior media executive Rohit Tugnait as Commercial Director for its India territory.  Tugnait will lead the commercial teams based in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi and will be...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Microscan launches Internet Service in Aurangabad

MUMBAI: Internet Service Provider Microscan Infocommtech has launched its services in Aurangabad. Microscan has joined hands with Elixir Telelinks to increase its reach and offer premium Internet Services in the city. This partnership plays to both partner’s individual strengths in which the...

iWorld Over The Top Services
ONEOTT Intertainment Limited wins TelecomLead.com Innovation Leaders award 2019

Mumbai: OneOTTIntertainment Limited (OIL), was awarded the 2019 Innovation leaders award by Telecomlead.com. OIL won this prestigious award for adopting innovative steps for expanding broadband connectivity to under connected population in urban locations, like –connectivity of 50 Hotspots in...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Prime Focus Technologies selected as event coverage partner for L’Oréal Professionnel’s Indian Hairdressing Awards 2018-19

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) announced that its video agency, PFT Brands was selected by L’Oréal Professionnel as the official event coverage partner for the prestigious Indian Hairdressing Awards (IHA) 2018-19. IHA was launched as a platform to recognize excellence in not only the art,...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories