Reality shows aren’t just making waves on television, they’re also slowly gaining popularity in the digital world. Lock Up is a digital reality, another example is Big Boss, and now Karan Johar’s popular talk show Koffee With Karan has also become an OTT property. Producer Payal Saxena, who recently wrote and directed Ishqiyoun, explains why she thinks this new trend is catching up. “Reality shows are becoming the most popular shows these days. Presenting this on OTT platforms reaches much more targeted audiences who don’t necessarily watch satellite channels. The OTT trend is more popular with a younger audience,” she says. Reality shows on OTT mean more creative freedom. “But now censorship applies to everyone, plus viewers can watch international content anyway, so why not that. Families watch Bigg Boss, and honestly, we can’t say it’s completely R-rated. The viewership or should I say viewing pattern has changed a lot now. My mom watched Big Boss hosted by Karan on OTT. India has progressed over the past two decades and so have our views and our choices,” she shares. The inclusiveness that national television brings is not compromised on OTT, according to Payal. Many new channels are emerging and they are all broadcast on national television. Those with good content work and others lose their audience.
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“The same thing happens with OTT platforms. Good content matters. Viewers will watch good content, whether on national television or on an OTT platform. Unfortunately, before the channels had a monopoly, but now with so many choices, they have to work harder to maintain their audience. It’s good for viewers to be able to choose and for producers who have good content but couldn’t break that bond. As for everyone not subscribed to an OTT, it’s the same. You produce good content and subscribers will increase. Viewers will go where they get what they want. In recent years, Southern content is getting more attention than the Hindi belt. So many failed BlockBusters and low budget movies are rocking. The reason is the same in all other industries. It’s all about demand and supply. You could spend 150 CR but if it has no content or repeats the same thing as before, the work will be rejected,” she explains. In the future, what reality shows do you hope will go over to OTT? “My all time favorite is Khatron Ke Khiladi. I would love to see more like this,” she concludes.