The platform aims to provide local narratives that are relatable to viewers in Pakistan.
At a time when the world is witnessing a global pandemic, almost every business has been looking for ways to operate online while those that already had digital presence have seen an upsurge. Online entertainment is not a new concept and there has been a growing interest in digital content worldwide, leading to an uprising of various new platforms. Audiences are shifting online and Netflix certainly dominates the digital arena with all sorts of stories that are accessible across the globe.
However, while several old films and TV dramas have been uploaded to Netflix, there is no Pakistani original content available on the streaming site and there is a dire need to create local content. Fortunately, a few newly launched digital platforms are trying to fill the gap and cater to the demand. One of them is ‘Deikho – Aur Deikhtey Jao’ that features a variety of web series, talk shows, interviews and much more, with some of industry’s bigwigs headlining the productions.
“A nascent but definite revolution is brewing in the online space and web series or shows meant exclusively for the internet are catching the fancy of audiences, and, as an extension, of content producers and advertisers,” shared Waqas Abbasi, who is at the helm of affairs at Deikho.
“Netflix with more than 160 million users worldwide is the largest platform producing content for the digital audience but users craving for original Pakistani content find no such platform. Deikho, established in partnership with a private IT-firm and media house, is new in the market but holds great news for Pakistan’s entertainment industry. There is no comparison between Netflix and Deikho but the former is facing some major problems in expanding OTT streaming services in Pakistan,” he added.
Deikho also aims to promote a new breed of talent with a mix of renowned TV artists. It costs PKR 5 a day and PKR 90 per month, making it truly cost effective and quite compatible in technical terms. The exclusive original content, specifically designed for Pakistani audiences, is the backbone of Deikho that is gathering a pool of creative content creators, hence attracting the attention of consumers within Pakistan. Furthermore, by bringing big-screen names to the digital arena and keeping the needs of its audience at the heart of its business model, Deikho is producing top-notch content offering multiple genres including action, comedy, horror, and romance.
The list includes web series Parinday, a mystery action thriller inspired from real gang wars and revealing the complex network of underworld drug mafia, and Pillow Talk – a narrative based on three different phases of married life from a young age to an old one.
There is also a web show, titled Batana Hi Parega, that digs deep and unravels untold secrets of some of the best cricketers in Pakistan, from Javed Miandad to Waseem Akram, while Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhter are also featured on the show.
A recent COVID-19 awareness series by Nadeem Baig and Faisal Qureshi, titled Dastak Na Do, is also streaming on the site. Given that Pakistanis are not taking coronavirus seriously, risking their own as well as others’ lives, the series raises awareness in a lighthearted and amusing way.
Online platforms like Deikho are allowing content creators the liberty they crave, which is often compromised when it comes to creating content for television. This also paves way for issues that do not make it to the small screen due to censorship; many subjects that usually get censored on traditional networks are able to get enough space on digital networks, hence creating room for discussions at public forums. With more people understanding the changing dynamics and investing in creating online content for Pakistan, one hopes to see a local streaming giant emerge in the coming years.