Popular actors double fees as streaming sites increase viewership

New Delhi : Growing viewership of streaming platforms during two years of the pandemic helped double the income of actors playing major roles in web shows and wages from 10% pre-pandemic, industry to 50% of production costs on streaming services Took the bill Experts said.

While the overall cost of producing original content has increased over the same period, actors have been the biggest gainers – foreign streaming firms like Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar are now happy to spend big bucks for popular faces in web shows. .

Some of the biggest names headlining the web series can be compensated Rs 10-15 crore per season even though there is no box office barometer to gauge their success. Web stars become the next stop 5-8 crores.

Vidyut Bhandari, studio head of Dice Media, known for shows like Little Things, said that the quality of content and freedom of format has made film actors prefer streaming projects.

“Many actors have achieved immense success on OTT platforms today. The fee dynamics of the OTT sector and the film industry are very similar in the sense that after a successful project, if there is a demand for an actor or technician, the fees increase manifold,” said Bandari.

Akshay Bardapurkar, founder of OTT platform Planet Marathi said that popular actors like Radhika Apte, Pankaj Tripathi, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Prateek Gandhi are in constant demand for streaming shows and are difficult to meet now. He added that some streaming services commission projects based on their availability.

“The main reason is that the demand for key talent resources exceeds the supply and hence, their fees have increased. This means quality will be at a premium. And getting the same quality from similar professionals will now cost more. Hence the platforms will have to recalculate to ensure their requirements on each show,” said Gautam Talwar, Chief Content Officer, MX Player.

Gunjan Arya, CEO of OML Entertainment, known for shows like Comicstaan, said that streaming platforms love to have a first look at an actor or even a production house known for something particular. Platforms make these decisions based on viewership trends and the belief that getting these people on board will help keep viewers on their platform longer or convert them into paying customers, she explained.

“Getting an established and popular face for a web show will cost more as the aspiration is to get more and more eyeballs that such an actor guarantees and this also helps in marketing and promotion. Everyone is entitled to their monetary benefits once a successful show goes on for the subsequent seasons, which may have originally been made with a lower budget and hired lesser-known actors and technicians,” said Kanupriya Iyer. , Head of Business Affairs and Senior Producer at Locomotive Global Media, a production house.

He added that the proliferation of streaming services has also led to an increase in fees.

Shruti Deora, Head of Partnerships at digital agency White River Media said that depending on the capability of the star and the performance of the work, OTT does not mind paying for the talent. “Stars have always been the selling point for films across all mediums – the big screen and OTT,” he added.

Ashima Awasthi, Head, Zee Studios Originals said, The lead actors and writers of the popular series have been the biggest beneficiaries. “Actors who were classified as ‘character-actors’ have come into limelight as OTT is not dependent on the star system. However, even when it has opened doors, there is a tendency to lean on talent whose digital work has done well and this is where he falls into a trap,” said Awasthi.

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