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NEW DELHI : Hungama Play, the video streaming service owned by Hungama Digital Media, said it will roll out a slate of 15 originals across five languages in 2022, building on the viewership it saw for its 11 shows in 2021. 

The titles include the third season of psychological drama Damaged, crime thriller Swaang, drama thriller Chhalaava, a comedy called Shubh Mangal Mein Dangal, an anthology called Hasratein, horror-comedy En Enthire Rendu Papa, romantic drama Dhappa, among others.

“We are focused on the consumer on the mobile phone, which is why our usual template is about five episodes that are 15-20 minutes each. We will continue to build on genres like comedy, crime, thriller and drama," Siddhartha Roy, chief operating officer, Hungama Digital Media told Mint, adding that the year 2022 will see its strongest output so far. 

Apart from Hindi, the platform is looking at exploring content in Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Bhojpuri, Roy said. Around 60-65% of the audience continues to be male, and belongs to the Hindi heartland including states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra but Telugu originals are also bringing in viewers from the south. Several shows launched last year reached around 50-100 million viewers.

“Consumers tend to drop out when shows are longer, at say, 15 episodes. Based on feedback from our target group, we have stayed away from romance and tried to up production values, star cast and storylines," Roy said.

Last month, Hungama announced a partnership with telecom player Vi, launching its music offering on the latter’s app. Calling it a significant distribution playout, Roy said the absence of Hindi film releases has not impacted the music industry to a large extent. 

“Of course, there are peaks in listenership at the time of releases. But the southern industries have continued to bring out movies. Plus, direct-to-digital offerings also have music and there is a whole non-film genre that has been created," Roy said adding that distribution partnerships like with Vi are meant to drive consumer habit among middle India where the product can be tailored according to the listener’s preferences with recommendations and customization.

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