Ashish Hemrajani, Co-Founder and CEO of BookMyShow, is known for his candid and eloquent conversations. Despite the damaging effects of COVID-19 on the entertainment industry, especially the film industry, Ashish remains strong and optimistic. The question is whether we are sailors with strong winds or light winds during the pandemic. In a conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, Ashish spoke about how the entertainment industry will shape in a post-COVID era and why she continues to maintain the hope of cinemas.
Does OTT change the dynamics? Ashish believes that OTT (Over the Top) platforms are aimed at the English-speaking population of India: “India, which has high-speed internet and works with devices,” he said. The type of content that comes out of the OOT platforms is best suited for people with an “American way of life.” That said, OTT platforms have opened doors for content creators that didn’t exist before. “OTT democratizes talent,” added Ashish. He said that just as money has come for digital business and democratized wealth creation, OTT is doing the same for talent and content.
The new and the old coexist with the closure of cinemas due to the lockdown, the conversation around OTT platforms taking over traditional forms of entertainment has gained momentum.
“We currently live in an economy of germophobia. After closing, we will be in a claustrophobic economy”, Ashish said.
The co-founder of India’s largest online movie ticket booking platform is hopeful that if new forms of entertainment are here to stay, markets will open up to traditional forms of entertainment in the coming months. That said, he believes that cable television will suffer the most from the changes that will occur in a post-COVID world. And more, once the country was shut down nationally, BookMyShow was up and running quickly. The platform hosted more than 5,000 post-crash events, allowing users to experience them for free. “We have been making money for 20 years. We do not bill customers during the pandemic, ”Ashish revealed. Now that the economy has started to recover, 70% of BookMyShow customers pay.
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