South Indian films are the firsts to release directly on OTT services

With the continuation of nation-wide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, films are now heading towards direct-release-on-OTT-services as all the theaters and multiplexes are shut indefinitely. South Indian films are the firsts to make way to OTT services directly. Awaited Telugu film Amrutharamam has released on ZEE5 today, and Tamil film Ponmagal Vandhal will release on Amazon Prime Video, as the films’ producers confirmed on Twitter. 
Though that has concerned cinema and multiplex owners as the theatrical releases seem to be in threat. Ponmagal Vandhal producer, Suriya, faced immediate backlash, as Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association president R Panneerselvam announced that the association’s members would not release any film by Suriya, though the statement was withdrawn later in the day. The anxiety for big screens is real for the producers, makers as well as the cinema owners. Also, the  OTT release window in India is much shorter than it is in the US as it doesn’t cut across the tier 2 and tier 3 cities that much.  After Amazon Prime Video launched in India, movies started releasing online within a month of their big screen releases. Jio too announced last year that it would stream movies to JioFiber customers ‘the same day’ a movie releases, to the disappointment of multiplex chain and cinema owners.