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Business News/ Industry / Media/  69% urban Indians say frequency of going to cinemas has reduced: YouGov survey

Nearly seven in ten urban Indians (69%) said their frequency of going to movie theatres has reduced, according to a new survey conducted by market research and data analytics firm YouGov.

The biggest reason for people’s reduced trips to the cinema hall is the option of streaming films online (44%), followed by people’s preference to watch films at home (42%). Nearly a third think going to a cinema is expensive or feel there aren’t any films worth going to the cinema for (32% each). North Indians were more likely to say they do not go to cinemas because of the flexibility of streaming films online. Similarly, the 40 plus group prefers to watch films at home, YouGov said.

The data was collected online among 1004 urban Indian respondents in September 2022.

When asked about the mediums they have used most often to watch newly released films in the past six months, OTT platforms emerged as the most popular choice for nearly half of urban Indians. A fifth said they watched new movies on TV (22%) and only 16% went to the cinema or theatre to watch films during this period.

Respondents in the 18-29 age group were most likely to say they watched new films on OTT platforms (at 57%) in the past six months, while the 40 plus adults were more likely than others to watch them on TV (26%) or in theatres (19%). Notably, residents in South India were more likely to say they watched newly released films in theatres as compared to residents of other regions (at 22%).

Even though OTT has gained precedence, not all hope is lost for theatres. Over a quarter of urban Indians (26%) said their frequency of visiting a theatre has increased since the pandemic, with young adults between 18-29 years echoing this sentiment most strongly.

An overview of people’s cinema viewing habits shows one in six urban Indians (15%) said they go to a theatre to watch a film at least once a week, 8% do so once a fortnight. Just under a quarter visit a theatre at least once a month (23%), and nearly half visit it once every two to three months or longer than that. This behaviour is similar across all age groups.

Bollywood films emerged as the most popular kind of cinema among people (at 61%), followed by Hollywood or regional South Indian films (45% each).

When it comes to film types, comedy is the most preferred film genre by urban Indians (67%), followed by action (54%) and thriller (51%). Specifically thinking about how they like to watch these genres, a majority (55%) said they enjoy watching comedy films on OTT or streaming platforms. 19% prefer watching them in a theatre and 26% prefer both the options. The higher preference for OTT platforms is uniform across genres, except for action films, where people were more likely to say they like watching these films in theatres than on OTT platforms.

“After two years of the pandemic, theatres in India finally opened to full capacity this year. However, the rising popularity of streaming platforms remains a challenge discouraging people to step out of their homes," Deepa Bhatia, general Manager, YouGov India, said in a statement.

Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Updated: 18 Oct 2022, 11:08 AM IST
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