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Guest column: Roll camera, action - the show must go on

Covid has pushed the entertainment industry to work in so many creative ways.

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MUMBAI: ZeeL music cluster deputy business head Pankaj Balhara shares his learnings from 2020:

1. TV is king

We always had the conviction within the network about the power of TV, and all those questions were put to rest with the trends and data seen during the lockdown – that OTT and TV can co-exist. Specifically, with our TG (the youth), their consumption also increased during the lockdown but overall, it has remained consistent since the past four to five years.

2. Resilience and innovation of our industry  

If Covid2019 has taught the entertainment industry anything, it’s that we can’t continue to go on as we have. After a gap of 100 days due to the national lockdown, it was ‘roll camera, action’ again for the entertainment industry, but even in this phase the industry has shown the resilience to innovate and adapt successfully. During the lockdown, the television industry introduced content which was shot from home. TV merged into the virtual space and everyone in the entertainment industry managed to run their operations innovatively. Adapting to the new norms, TV constructed stories and scenes to keep everybody reasonably distanced. With the ongoing pandemic in mind, makers created new shows that both reflect the socially distanced moment and use its tools. What's exciting overall is that Covid has pushed the industry to work in so many creative ways.

3. TV and food are two true loves for Indians

The Covid2019 pandemic has pushed television viewership to record levels as it has seen unprecedented growth. Television consumption at this scale hasn't been witnessed or even imagined before. TV continues to attract maximum new eyeballs as the coronavirus outbreak keeps other options of outdoor entertainment limited. With social distancing and work-from-home being the new normal, families have found themselves with a lot more together time, be it having meals to watching their favourite movies or shows together. Same goes for food – as the pandemic made us housebound, we began buying, cooking, and eating very differently. Today both television and food has taken a centre stage at homes for family bonding and entertainment.    

4.  And above all, life and entertainment must go on!

There is no historic parallel to the crisis and uncertainty brought about by Covid2019. But the pandemic has taught us that we don't need too much to be happy. There can be a pause, but life doesn’t get stagnant. The show must go on.

(The author is deputy business head of ZeeL music cluster. Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to his views.)

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