Kaushik Das, Founder & MD, Konark Infracore
The outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic has reset our lives. Every sector has been affected by the pandemic and the entertainment industry is also not immune. We can call it the beginning of a dark era or end of the glorious movie-making era. On the other hand, the disaster paved the way for the OTT platforms and we can term it a golden era for this medium. With theatres, malls, and other sources of entertainment shut for months owing to the outbreak of the Covid-19, people at home have turned to Pay-TV and OTT (Over-The-Top) platforms for their daily dose of entertainment.
Now, we have Streaming video platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, HULU, Disney+, HBO+, Quibi, and others. In these OTT platforms, we can stream web series in Hindi, English and many other languages. But we did not have any Odia web series on these OTT platforms, causing disappointment among the Odia movie lovers. Realising this situation, Kaushik Das, MD & Founder of Konark Infracore, introduced Odisha 1st independent OTT platform ‘AAO TV’ on June 23, 2020, in which we can access Odia web series and Odia movies.
Tell us something about the launch of ‘AAO TV’.
I am an entrepreneur but a film lover. I never found a good content based movie in the Odia industry. I was always passionate about doing something new for the Odia audience. So, I thought that OTT is a good platform through which we can entertain Odia audience. Technically, we have started it in 2019. It took us 9 months to make it technically stable. On February 29, 2020, we launched our software. We tested it from February to June.
This is a technology-based entertainment medium. In this platform, we are trying to provide a variety of stories and programmes to the Odia entertainment lovers. We have also added old classic movies, which have faded from the memory of the people, to this platform.
So far, we have added two web series to our platform. On June 23, 2020, we launched our first non-fictional web series ‘Lilamaya Jagnnath’. We got only two thousand downloads in this series. It was not as successful and failed to meet our expectations. Later, we launched a web series’ Ladies Hostel. This is a comedy series by comedian Pappu pam pam. This web series received high ratings and gave us 15,000 downloads. Now, we are planning to bring many good content based web series to this platform.
We want to integrate many things in our platform in the future. Like good web series, we want to add different language based movies like Telugu, Hindi and Bengali etc. We want to introduce this platform nationally and globally. We are also in touch with a Korean country that will give us Korean content.
Do you think web series can replace movies?
Web series cannot replace movies. But viewers can see the reality and real stories of life through web series. Movies have some limitations such as time limits. But, web series do not have any time limit, so we can show every element of a story in a web series. Web series are always based on the actual concept. Till now, these platforms are not under the control of censor board rules or guidelines. But we will follow our Odia culture and we will do our web series with certain limitations.
We know that the audience for the Odia content is decreasing day by day. Do you think the web series will give you good viewership?
Many Odia films are copies of movies of the other language. And hence, Odia viewers are turning away from Odia films. We want to change this trend in our platform. We are trying to add some new content. We have plans to make series on real stories like cybercrime, tribal people, witch hunt and many more.We now have over 16000 downloads. We have free and premium based content. In premium based content people can use our platform at Rs 299 for six months and Rs 499 for one year. In the near future we are going to add some more technologies to it.
Do you think popular actors would like to act in web series?
If we give them some good content, they will certainly be interested to work. Now we are planning to make a new web series, which is a dark crime thriller based web series. Many good actors like Manoj Mishra, Partha Sarathi Ray, Chaudhary Bikash Dash are performing in this series. They are very excited for this. We have formed a writer’s club. Every Friday we discuss with authors and select good content or stories and we buy those stories from them and store them in the library. Secondly, we also have a directors club, in which we have some good directors. We are also trying to liaise with South Indian and other producers to get some good and creative content.
Written By: Subhra Kar
Image Source: Google