Original soundtracks, or OSTs as they’re called fondly, are on the rise once again, thanks to the rise and rise of the OTT platforms. This trend that’s just catching on in our country has been a huge part of the web/tv culture in the west. The biggest and most recent example of that can be seen with the popularity that Iranian-German composer Ramin Djawadi has garnered with his use of soundtracks in the popular series GAME OF THRONES. Talking numbers, his soundtrack for GoT fetched over 380 million streams since January 2016 and More than 250,000 listeners have created their own Game of Thrones-themed playlists. That is a big number. Not only that, the tickets for these concerts — held around the world since 2017 — are priced between $18 and $400.

But coming back to the Indian OTT and OST scene, the trend slowly picked up with the Amazon Prime Video show LAAKHON MEIN EK where Majaal, a Mumbai-based writer and actor, who wrote the title track for the show gained immense popularity among the viewers and also, the listeners. The song of the show which was released in 2017, has reached almost a million views on Youtube. Kaam 25, another OST of the Netflix India Original SACRED GAMES, by Divine has garnered almost 20 million views on Youtube. At 19.6 million views, Darshan Raval’s Yaara teri yaari for Amazon Prime Video’s Four More Shots Please is neck-and-neck with Divine’s rap song. Meanwhile, Yeh kya hua of ALTBalaji’s Broken But Beautiful (2018) has got 9 million views. The title track of Dice Media’s Little Things (2016), starring Mithila Palkar and Dhruv Sehgal, is now nearing 1.5 million views. Talking about a much recent example, TVF’s KOTA FACTORY has a 12 song album that has garnered over two Lakh views on JioSaavn.

This trend is really catching on and the biggest thing that is keeping this going is the appreciation received from the fans for the same. Also, so many of the producers prefer creating original music now than to buy the rights of Bollywood music, which gets really expensive. Not only that, this is giving so many independent artists a chance and their moment to shine. I remember the tome when such independent artists were a rage in the early 2000 with the indie rock/pop phase, which slowly died down. But looks like the popularity of such artists is picking up once again. But it’s not only them, so many of other big Bollywood artists like Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghoshal, and major music labels like T-Series and Sony Music are also being attracted to the OST for OTT scenario and are willing to make more original music for the fans.

So, even the producers and makers of the original shows/films on their respective platforms are upping their game and setting a budget aside for original music of the film and that’s really a refreshing sight to see. Good OSTs take a series/film a long way and we have seen that in the west and slowly we are seeing that here as well. If you ask me, I’m not surprised that this has become a trend now, for me it was really just a matter of time before it was picked up and I’m glad it happened sooner rather than later.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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