As time goes by, regardless of the COVID pandemic, Internet TV is steadily replacing linear TV and this is leading to a giant war between Satellite, Terrestrial and Digital platforms (OTT/ Video on Demand platforms) for leadership in offering amazing home entertainment experiences.
From subscription-based VoD (Video on Demand) platforms that charge a monthly or annual fee for unlimited streaming to Transactional VoD platforms that do not charge a subscription fee, several factors are altering the way people consume content.
Gone are days when one would go to a cinema hall for watching movies or buy a CD of the latest movies. Today, platforms like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime etc. are gaining popularity in every household and have become a preferred platform for the GenZ to consume content.
This revolution in content creation and content consumption has led to a host of unique and well-paying professions for almost every single person who loves cinema. Let us look at three such careers:
1. NETFLIX TAGGER/ ORIGINALS CREATIVE ANALYSTS
Taggers work for Netflix and other SVOD channels, and their job is to watch the content on the channel and tag each film and episode with relevant metadata. That metadata directly affects every show or movie that you choose to watch.
In part, it’s the objective information about the content: like the release year, language, director, cast list, etc. or how much profanity is there in a film.
Taggers are also responsible for labeling all the content with ‘tags’ that are more subjective, tags that speak more about the soul of the film. At Netflix, they work in 30 person strong teams, and are also called ‘Originals Creative Analysts.’ Actually, for those who love movies, it’s all about getting paid to watch films!
Showrunners are the new breed of top professionals in the OTT world. A showrunner has the creative and management responsibilities of a web show production and combines the responsibilities of a director and a producer.
The showrunner acts as a bridge between the OTT platform and the team responsible for making the show, makes sure that the show comes in on time and exactly as visualized by the platform and the producer.
They are very highly paid and usually, a top showrunner is also the lead writer. As an example of how much a showrunner is paid, on Netflix’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ the showrunner was approximately paid between $100,000 and $300,000 per episode.
In India, a showrunner would earn between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh per episode, depending on his qualifications and seniority.
3. SHOWCASTER (CASTING DIRECTOR)
In India, the casting director is an emerging breed of professionals. For the longest time in India, casting was about employing stars, and then the star would choose to work with his regular team and there was no real need for an exclusive casting director or casting department.
OTT has changed all that and now even films want and need new, unique, different talent for the sake of freshness and spontaneity.
Casting is also now about checking the social media credentials of those who want to be cast, checking auditions on YouTube, and doing a whole bunch of things to get the right person for the right role. It is no longer about just checking portfolios and doing auditions.
Casting directors archive every person that they have auditioned and have a library of talent at their disposal. A top Casting Director/ Team could get as much as $200,000 or more per season of a web series.
Of course, there are many more exciting and unconventional career choices on OTT and digital platforms with the audience getting more specific with the times. An example is ShoMo, a platform that is exclusively going to create short (less than 10 minutes) content and is going to link up with cell phone service providers to get eyeballs!
With the popularity of OTT platforms growing manifold, the Indian entertainment industry is looking forward to hire talented professionals who have skills as per the demands of the industry. To cater to the changing demographics of the entertainment industry, several media and entertainment institutes have restructured their courses and designed full-time modules such as Celebrities, Cinema, and OTT that combines celebrity management, cinema curation, and careers on OTT platforms among others.
— The writer is Dean, School of Contemporary Media, Pearl Academy
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