Shakun Batra on what defines a hit film on OTT: We’ll need new metrics to gauge a film’s success on the web

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OTT platforms have revolutionised the entertainment scene, which was earlier dominated by theatres. However, while cinemas define a film’s performance through box office numbers, there is no such system on the web. Director Shakun bantra, whose latest film Gehraiyaan, released on an OTT platform, too, wonders about it.

“I have exactly the same question and I’m also curious. Given how the industry is moving forward, we will have to define a new metric of success to gauge films on OTT. At this point, it is generally word of mouth like, ‘Oh a lot of people watched it’. I would not be surprised if very soon we have metrics [for OTT] that can be compared,” he tells us.

The 39-year-old agrees that there is “an entire industry on OTT now”, and therefore the metrics will be needed to better understand “the idea of success” on the web space.

We point out, though, that this would mean OTT is no longer free of the number game, and the competition will shift to these metrics then. Batra answers, “The thing is the system, at some point, wants to compare because they need to figure out which films did better comparatively. Eventually, the internal mindset as a creator is to know it’s not a game. Honestly, there is no bigger proof of co existence today than OTT platforms. You can have a film like Sherni that co exists in the same world which has Simmba or Singham. Both have found their audiences. It’s not a zero sum game. I want big films to do the numbers. The bigger the industry, the better it is for everyone, I am all for that.”

Batra adds in the same breath that his films aren’t the number game kind. The filmmaker continues, “I make certain kind of films, they don’t probably fit into the main masala genre. I am very happy for the success of every film, everyone gets bigger opportunities.”


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