The media and entertainment industry’s current evolution is because of Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms. Population has access to smart devices and the reach of it has expanded significantly as a consequence of cheaper prices and data packages at lower rates. Internet usage, greater availability of various kinds of exceptional content. Also, the increase of ad-free watching, regional and foreign language content, and binge-watching as a whole is a common occurrence in the nation. Because of having a target audience, relevant, interests and free content, along with a wide range of premium content subscription services that have more potential to develop in the future, all of this result in the dominance of OTT content.
Now, there exists a need to critically observe the phenomena of the consumption of OTT content from the psychological context as this very consumption consists of the interactive relationship between the factors of human behavior, emotions and technological progress. Also, them combining forms are viewership habits. It entails
1) Instant Gratification
There exists a vast amount of content available on these platforms. This results in a desire for instant gratification where one can indulge according to their choices instantly which leads to an immediate form of pleasure and a sense of satisfaction.
2) Overwhelming number of Choices
It is no secret that OTT platforms have a large extent of content library in that consists of a diverse variety of content. This results in difficulty in choosing the type of content one wants to watch. The paradox of the availability of so much yet being unable to choose causes distress among the platform users. Also leads to decision fatigue.
OTT platform with its instantaneous vast available content serves as the perfect medium of distraction in a world that is so fast-paced also where leisure time is a novelty concept. The content over here fits a diverse audience’s taste and helps them escape from the stresses of daily life.
4) Regulations Of Emotions
The content here has many captivating and engaging narratives that allow the viewers to be consumed when watching. The format of the content is framed in a way that allows the viewer to delve deeper into the deeper realms of emotion in a controlled safe environment of their comfort zones.
5) Binge Watching
The formats of OTT content usually have a lot of cliffhangers. To curb the curiosity that arises, the practice of binge-watching comes into play. The need for closure is fulfilled and the pleasure hormones released encourage this behavior.
6) Social Connections
OTT content is the new form of popular culture and is slowly solidifying its existence within the social fabric of the human connection. So the fear of missing out and the need to feel included is prime when consuming the content to stay relevant in social circles.
The algorithms of these platforms are designed in a way that encourages the viewer for further engagement creating further personalized content. The interactive nature of technology promotes the usage of these platforms.
8) Comfort Factor
Viewing from these platforms just requires a device on hand creating ease of use thus increasing engagement.
Nostalgia develops when the emotional connection with a content is being formed. The ability to repeat watch on these platforms led to recalling emotions when the bond with the content was being established.
Now, a description of the above psychological factors automatically raises questions about the consumption of OTT content and its relationship with the viewer’s mental health.
1. Stress Relief
These platforms are the ultimate stress relievers in the modern world. The engagement with the narrative in the content allows to viewer to disconnect from the present reality.
2. Emotional Catharsis
The ongoing narrative in the content helps the viewer to engage in such a manner that they live and passively experience the following narrative.
3. Building Social Connection
Building shared interests strengthens a community, and discussing common OTT shows being watched leads to the formation of social circles based on common interests.
1. Sleep Deprivation
Excessive engagement does never bring good to anyone. Uncontrolled binge-watching habits lead to things like sleep disruptions which opens a whole can of worms like insomnia, disruption of body cycles, hormonal imbalances, and much more.
2. Unhealthy Escapism
Occasional escapism is healthy, however, a consistency in this sort of behavior can lead to avoidance of reality which blocks the personal development of self in an individual.
The new normal now becomes the new normal as spending prolonged periods just consuming content creates blockages with the connections being formed in social settings.
4. Content Influence
OTT content creators prime and frame influence in such a way that it appears generic yet has an impactful role in spreading specific ideologies that might not align with the social and ethical grain of society Also, the lack of censorship on such platforms has adverse effects.
5. Time Management
Consumption of content online always goes under notice on the productivity scale when relaxation turns into unproductive indulgence and no one catches a drift of it.
6. Self Esteem
The lack of diverse representation on such platforms creates image issues where vulnerable minds can feel invisible and leading to comparison and a diminished sense of self. This also leads to other mental health issues is body dysmorphia and depression.
Finally, we must establish a balance between entertainment and other aspects of content consumption. Thus, creating a foundation for healthy well-being altogether in the era of technology.