Maanvi Gagroo: I hope star culture does not come to OTT, as they’ll come with their own baggage
Known primarily for her work on the web, which includes series such as TVF Pitchers, TVF Tripling, Made in Heaven and Four More Shots Please!, actor Maanvi Gagroo is in a very happy space now. With the OTT platforms gaining all the more prominence in the entertainment industry now, Gagroo is nothing but ecstatic. Having dabbled with the digital medium way back in 2015, the actor is delighted to witness the new found respect in the eyes of “Bollywood people”. Excerpts from her interview.
During the pandemic, there has been a notable surge in the popularity of the OTT platforms. How do you see it?
Of course it is true that a large part of it was because of the pandemic. People were not stepping out and television is something that they were already bored of. But I feel that this is something that I had kind of predicted because I knew the popularity of the OTT was only going to rise.
But is there is a worry you have about this whole situation?
My only worry is that the quality of the shows might drop because the same thing happened with TV as well. When satellite television started, there were some great shows that were made and different kinds of shows — comedy, thriller, drama, antakshari shows. There was a whole gamut of shows but suddenly when it became too popular, it just was all about saas bahu and there was absolutely no variety. Even if someone tried to make a different show, people were not ready to do it. It became all about TRPs, so the quality dropped. That’s something I am a bit wary of. There is so much traffic on OTT. Everybody is making a web show, koi 5 minute ka bana raha hai koi ek ghante ka episode bana raha hai. When there is so much clutter, a lot of good stuff goes unnoticed, that should not happen.
Do you also worry that the star system which is so prevalent in Bollywood might also make its way on OTT now?
I hope that the start culture does not come here as well because now we are seeing ‘Bollywood’ also taking interest in OTT. But they will come with their own baggage that main toh star hoon. They will be like , ‘I need this, I need a lead role, I need poster space’. The same thing that plague our films might get transferred here. There is no way to stop it so we will see how it goes.
With so much of content, do you think there will be a case of too much on OTT, after all how much can the audience consume?
For me my attention span has really gone down. Now when I start watching a series, I give it 15 minutes. If it engages me then great otherwise I give it up. I feel like there is so much to watch. I don’t want to waste my time watching something that does not engage me. People say don’t give a series up, it will pick up post a certain episode and I am like why should I? I think the makers will have to take cognizance of this. People’s attention span is also going down.
What do you think is the way forward for the OTT platforms?
I think now more money will be pumped in the marketing also, to stand out in the clutter. I just know of 4 – 5 platforms. I am sure there are good shows as well on others but they must be getting missed. For someone whose target audience is me, in order to reach me they will have to market it in a way that it reaches me. It is a whole new industry that is waiting to burst. No, I guess it already has burst, now it will only get bigger.