Spike in stock footage demand from leading OTTs due to pandemic and constraints.

Sajid Ali -

Spike in stock footage demand from leading OTTs due to pandemic and constraints.

Ever heard of Getty Images and Shutterstock? I’m sure you must’ve seen their watermarks on videos or pictures online. They’re companies that stock footage or pictures which are re-used in new productions like ads and films. 
 
The current pandemic has left everyone in splits and handicapped of many things which can’t be done in public. One of the huge challenges is in film production which demands a strenuous amount of time and resources. In a recent research streaming platforms such as Netflix, Dinesy+ Hotstar, Prime Video and Zee5 are driving demand for stock footage, stated by the respective companies and the industry executives. 
 
Due to the halt in production work, the filmmakers are under immense pressure to complete their projects in a considerable amount of time so that they can recover their investment. This has shown a great spike in demand for stock footage from India over the last three months. The demand is mostly from the leading streaming sites whose homebound audience is now consuming more content than it used to be pre-lockdown. This includes web series, films and documentaries.
 
An enterprise business partner of Shutterstock in India, Stock & Found, has sold three times the footage during this lockdown period. Similar is the case with our homegrown stock footage companies like The Ad Footage Company, Imagesbazaar among other global companies Pond5 and Alamy are catering to the unusual rise in demand from the entertainment and media industry. Ironically March-June is considered as the slow period. 
 
Aparna Acharekar, programming head at Zee5 quoted To Indiatimes, “With no time frame left for shooting, stock footage is a quicker, smarter and safer way of creating transition or establishing shots. 
 
The footage in demand are the location shots, both abroad and local where the filmmakers establish the whereabouts of a story or editorial content related to news from the past.
 
This is a well known and established process in the west which is slowly catching up in India. The demand is likely to increase in the coming months, said Nitin Lakhotia, SVP at Reliance Entertainment. 
 
The possibility of shooting to resume seems bleak even after the lockdown is lifted completely. Filmmakers are resorting to stock footage for the projects which are yet to release. 
 
Will this bring a shift in narrative and dilute the fun? Or will it serve as an alternative and set standards. The upcoming releases might answer those questions because many didn’t know the west has been doing this for ages. So, let’s welcome this change and be a part of it.
 
What do you think of stock footages, will it stick around long enough or will perish after things settle down? Please let us know in the comments below.
 


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