Aha, a boon for small, medium-budget films?

Aha, the Telugu-only OTT platform, has benefited hugely owing to the pandemic situation in terms of its viewership. Besides garnering good numbers for its original content including Run, Mastis, Locked, Metro Kathalu to name a few, the platform has been at the forefront in ensuring multiple direct-to-OTT releases including offerings like Johaar, Krishna and his Leela, Buchinaidu Kandriga, Amaram Akhilam Prema in addition to a slew of dubbed films like Maguvalaku Mathrame, 36 Vayasulo, Bangaru Talli and And the Oskar Goes to…

Some of the recent acquisitions like Orey Bujjigaa and Colour Photo are set to add more sheen to the prospects of the platform. It’s clear here that Aha’s main priority is making/acquiring content on a medium or a small budget. It’s a smart strategy given that Amazon Prime Video is more or less chasing films featuring big names, offering huge quotes.

Netflix has preferred to remain choosy, but both of its direct-to-OTT releases Krishna and his Leela and Uma Maheshwara Ugraroopasya have scored in terms of content. However, there’s a wide array of small/medium budget films that are left lurching and Aha has truly given them a new lease of life with their aggressive promotions. It’s certain that more filmmakers and production houses will be coming their way for direct-to-OTT releases.

The main criticism for Aha has been the fact that the quality of the films/originals has been more or less mediocre while the move to release a flurry of dubbed films hasn’t gone down well with a section of viewers too. They have hardly had content one could call ‘spectacular’ and that’s one reason it’s not able to evince the interest of viewers in comparison to its counterparts like Amazon or Netflix. However, in the process, Aha has edged ahead of ZEE5 which was more aggressive in coming up with regional content till the pre-pandemic situation. Surprisingly, ZEE5 has been left behind in terms of new regional content or direct-to-OTT releases in the lockdown, where it should have made the most out of. Worth an introspection, ain’t it?

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