Indian television today is filled with loads of saas-bahu soaps and reality shows leaving very little to the interest of the urban youth and tech-savvy viewers. Viewers like me, watch TV only for live shows or sports. Naturally, it is no surprise that the youth of my age are hitting the internet and video-sharing websites like Youtube, etc., for entertainment interests. Numerous online digital entertainment portals are coming into existence some of which have already become a huge hit among the youngsters and urban viewers. These entertainment portals are producing Web series or shows, meant completely for Internet, which is actively catching the fancy of the audiences as well as the content producers and advertisers.
I happen to encounter such series through another such social platform i.e. Facebook. On seeing the number of likes and shares on the post caught my interest. It was definitely an interesting watch. Immediately after watching it, I shared it with my friends who also liked it hugely. A few of these popular web series are a production of TVF (The Viral Fever), Y-Films, Pechkas Pictures, Scoopwhoop Talkies, etc. ‘Pitchers’ by TVF is ranked 25th by the IMDB (Internet Movie Database) as of today among Top Rated TV shows. Some other popular Web series are ‘Permanent Roommates’, ‘Man’s World’, ‘Bang Baaja Baarat’, etc.
These series for that matter are popular not for one but various reasons. Reasons I think makes these web series so popular :
- It mostly targets the audience from a particular age group, for example15-35, such as high school students, college-goers and doing jobs who form the major internet target audiences.
- These Web Series are easily accessible on the Internet in Youtube and other online channels where they can be watched for free of cost.
- Casting fresh faces encouraging more youth viewers as well as no biased reviews and reactions since they do not have any star studded, jittery cast. But some series are also following the fashion as in the west i.e. to include a few film stars in a few episodes to make it more interesting, like in Man’s world, Kalki Koechlin and Parineeti Chopra did cameos.
- Very relatable content, especially for the youth, and since they form the largest amount of internet consumer and viewership, it automatically is getting more popular day by day. A lot more focus is given on issues trending in today’s world such as gender equality, personal space in marriages, politics in the market, which hooks into the audiences interests and accordingly liked more and appreciated by the viewers.
- Concise affair- These series come with less yet interesting episodes, making them an easy, relaxing watch. We could watch it in between breaks, while traveling to offices, etc.
- Promoting various brands- since some of these series are made at around 50 lakhs per episode, questions pop that how do they manage such lavish expenditure. The answer my dear friends is brand sponsorships. The online entertainment channels get their funding and in return they advertise their brands and companies in their episodes, for example Ola cabs in ‘Permanent Roommates’.
While we, the viewers, don’t claim that these internet series, since so popular, are taking over the TV but are undeniably up for a good competition. They are no doubt presenting us with certainly more content and variety and they are absolutely very promising for us viewers, creating spaces of learning and reforming society. At present it is popular at a certain intensity, but it is definitely the next big thing in the entertainment industry.
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