HT Labs introduces OTT platform


Staying at home could perhaps save lives for the first time in human history. As we come together as people to combat the current war and help one another, it’s also vital to take mental breaks from time to time. One of the most common at-home hobbies is binge-watching favorite shows or movies on OTT channels. From time to time, being taken to the world of entertainment offers the requisite escape and enjoyment.

We have anything for you if you’ve ever found yourself mindlessly browsing, unable to choose the right show or movie to watch. The abundance of content available through OTT networks today has created a new challenge: deciding what to see and where to watch it when there are too many to choose from. With nearly a dozen movies and shows released every week through languages and OTT networks, most people end up seeing what’s new or trendy rather than finding something they’d like to see.

To address this issue, HT Labs, a digital-first innovation centre, has launched OTT play, a content discovery and recommendation site that curates shows and movies based on a user’s preferences for language, genre, platform, actor, filmmaker, and more from over 150,000 movies and 30,000 shows across 10 languages and 35+ OTT platforms.

It will help people find games they’re more likely to love, not only from the OTTs they’ve subscribed to but also from others. It will be available on the internet and as an app (Android and iOS). Following in the footsteps of prominent social media platforms, the site encourages users to post their favorite shows and movies by swiping left on titles they “dislike” and swiping right or tapping on the “heart” to indicate that they “enjoyed” watching them. To better appreciate the user’s taste in movies and series, the user is invited to share their favorite stars, filmmakers, and genres. Following the capturing of these tastes, the recommendation engine recommends titles from India’s over 35 OTT channels that better fit their preferences.

If you like franchise shows like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier or understated comedies like Pagglait, each has its preferences. OTT Play helps each consumer to find just what they’re looking for while still making suggestions based on their consuming habits. Simultaneously, it serves as a one-stop content discovery portal for a variety of OTTs producing fantastic content in a variety of genres and languages.

The goal is to democratize the viewing and exploration experience, and by playing in the OTT room, we hope to guide viewers to the right movie or show through OTTs based on their preferences and the amount of time they have to watch. Most people just watch what’s advertised on their homepage or patch panel, which is just a small portion of the content available on a website. We want to make it easier for consumers to find new shows and movies based on what they’ve always seen and enjoyed” says Avinash Mudaliar, Co-founder, HT Labs.  

Another convenient function of OTTplay is the ability to browse recommended movies and shows by genre, language, and provider, as well as whether the title is free or includes a fee to watch. The recommendations can also be filtered by ranking, interest, and recency for those who choose to stick to highly reviewed titles or even the most recent updates. The preview, a short synopsis, several reviews curated from different publishers, and a ‘watch now’ connect guide users to the OTT channel where it is available for immediate streaming are all listed on each movie or show’s website. The titles can also be attached to a watch list and viewed at any point after a person has made a pick.

OTT play is now establishing itself as a go-to source for the latest OTT news, ratings, and listicles, which are created in-house and backed up by reputable outlets including Hindustan Times, Desi Martini, Live Mint, and Film Companion to keep users informed about their favorite stars and upcoming launches.

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