The impact of COVID-19 has been severe in the Telugu film industry. Cinema halls have been shut down from last one month and it remains unknown for how long this lockdown is going to continue. The makers are waiting to release their films which are put on hold due to the lockdown of theatres. The nationwide lockdown is likely to continue even after 14 April.
Even if govt lift lockdown in the country, we are not sure if makers will dare to release their films. During these times, producers are looking at alternate options- digital release is one among them. OTT platforms like Amazon, Netflix, Aha and ZEE5 have huge demand these days. Films are landing in these platforms in just 30 days of release. Producers are making good money by selling it to digital platforms. The new idea is to release the film directly on OTT platforms rather than cinema theatres.
Releasing a film in theatres involves publicity cost, theatre rent and maintenance expenses. But, digital release requires no such investment from the producer. Also, the streaming service providers are ready to offer big money if the film is hitting the digital platform directly. It's a great offer to small budget films and there is also an option to share the revenue that is generated via digital platforms.
If the current situation continues for a few more weeks, we may get to see many films on OTT platforms directly.