Mon, 18 Mar, 2019

A ‘series’ of choices

Web series may have made a grand entry into Indian markets, but there’s still a long way to go before they become mainstream

10th March 2019, 03:00 Hrs

JAY JOSHI  


One of the things that Indians love on par with cricket and food is TV series. From kids and teenagers to housewives, and even young professionals of all genders and ages, TV serieses have been a favourite source of entertainment. Serieses such as Kasuati zindagi ki or Kyunki saans bhi kabhi bahu thi have become cultural legends, with their names reverberating long after they have ended. 

That said, some trend analysers say that the scenario is changing, and web series are replacing the TV serials as preferred medium of entertainment. How far is this true is a key question.  

“Given a chance, I would certainly pick web-series over TV,” says Fiona Cardozo from Merces. “First of all, it’s all fresh content, and there are no breaks in between. Also, you could watch them at a time of your own convenience,” she adds.  

Aditi Jog, who is now working as a professor in Mumbai has a completely different take. “I’ve heard about various web serieses and content platforms, but I watch TV serials. I have seen web content at friends’ place, but have never gotten around to subscribing to web platforms myself,” says Aditi. She further mentions, “In our house, the whole family sits down to watch a serial, so I too end up watching it. Individuals watching whatever they want all by themselves is not a thing at our home yet.”   

Shraddha Manerikar, a homemaker from Kavale also toes the same line. “I prefer TV serials over web content because I feel I can relate more to TV serials. Secondly, a lot of web content seems to be dark, and I do not like the abusive language. The TV provides something we Indians can relate to culturally. Web platforms seem a bit too modern for my taste.”   

Because of this same reason, Mahesh Desai, a businessman from Priol watches neither web streams nor TV, but likes Hindi comedy shows available on Youtube. 

“I hardly find time to watch TV . I just want to unwind for sometime after I come home from work, So I watch some comic content from Youtube on my smart TV. of course, the content is not that intelligent, but I am so tired at the end of the day I just want some light slapstick entertainment. I am in no mood to process ‘different,’ ‘surprising’ and ‘shocking’ content,” he concludes.   

Web streaming is of course popular with the youth. “I like horror serieses on web,” says Sachin Sawant from Sindhudurg. “Frankly speaking, web content makes old serieses like Aahat seem childish. Also, I could plug in the headphones and watch the horror shows alone rather than have the whole room echo with horror sound effects and be mocked by friends and family for liking frightening things.”   

Even at time when web streaming is growing in India, some studies suggest that 65% of young Indians watch both TV and web content. 

So, while a number of might have shaken the TV a bit, but it has not completely dislodged the latter from its place in an Indian living room. Not all people are liking the content on web, which is sometimes too bold for one’s taste. Web streaming is quite new in Indian markets, and there is still time till it properly caters to the Indian tastes. 


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