Home >Companies >News >Disney+ Hotstar announces first slate of Tamil originals

New Delhi: Disney+ Hotstar, the video-streaming service owned by Disney India, has announced its first slate of Tamil language originals, close on the heels of platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video that have already made forays into regional programming.

The latest offerings include feature film Mookuthi Aman, starring Nayanthara and R.J. Balaji that will skip theatrical release in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, apart from its own originals or Hotstar special shows—LIVE Telecast directed by Venkat Prabhu, starring Kajal Aggarwal; My Perfect Husband starring veteran actors Sathyaraj and Seetha; Triples produced by Karthik Subbaraj, starring Jai Sampath and Vani Bhojan; and November Story featuring Tamannaah Bhatia. These will all be available as part of the Disney+ Hotstar VIP plan for 399 a year.

To be sure, older Hotstar offerings were also dubbed in Tamil, among other languages, but these are the platform’s first set of originals made in the language. Earlier this month, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video had announced their first Tamil original films too. Netflix has an anthology titled Paava Kadhaigal, featuring shorts by popular filmmakers like Gautham Vasudev Menon, Sudha Kongara and Vetrimaaran, starring names like Kalki Koechlin, Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi and others. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, has Putham Pudhu Kaalai, an anthology of five Tamil short films with top names like by Rajiv Menon, Suhasini Mani Ratnam and Karthik Subbaraj.

“As we lay the foundation of presenting authentic stories that appeal to Tamil audiences, we are very excited to partner with some of the most prolific minds of the industry. As we announce the launch of new movies-before-theatre and Hotstar Specials shows, we are adding to our existing promise of providing great Tamil entertainment across LIVE Sports, before TV access to STAR Vijay shows and much more—giving our audiences a wide array of content to choose from," Sunil Rayan, president and head, Disney+ Hotstar, said in a statement.

The investment in original regional content is a natural progression for OTT services, given the huge opportunity to capture audiences in India with increasing access to internet and mobile handsets, media and entertainment industry experts say. The entry barriers to the OTT space are far lower than broadcasting and it is possible for any startup to license or create content.

“The efforts to penetrate tier-II, III and IV towns by 2023-24 will be driven by regional content," Mehul Gupta, co-founder and CEO of independent digital agency SoCheers, had said in an earlier interview to Mint.

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