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Regional streaming services to woo audiences more aggressively

New offerings from Bengali streaming service Hoichoi include Maradonar Juto, a romantic comedy directed by Mainak Bhaumik about neighbouring families who have a generational feud about a pair of shoes belonging to the football legend, MaradonaPremium
New offerings from Bengali streaming service Hoichoi include Maradonar Juto, a romantic comedy directed by Mainak Bhaumik about neighbouring families who have a generational feud about a pair of shoes belonging to the football legend, Maradona

  • Building on the consumer habit of watching streaming content together as a family, a couple of new firms have entered the game with vernacular content even as older video-on-demand services are fast lining up offerings

Bengali streaming service Hoichoi has announced its latest slate for 2021, building on the trend of regional platforms upping investment to reach wider audiences.

New offerings include Maradonar Juto, a romantic comedy directed by Mainak Bhaumik about neighbouring families who have a generational feud about a pair of shoes belonging to the football legend, Maradona, Mohanagar featuring Bangladeshi star Mosharraf Karim, Robindronath Ekhane Kawkhono Khete Aashenni, an adaptation of the popular Bangladeshi novel of the same name directed by Srijit Mukherji starring Rahul Bose and films such as Kakababur Protyaborton and Golondaaj starring Prosenjit Chatterjee and Dev respectively.

Non-Hindi local language streaming services are in no mood to let go of the wide audience base acquired over the covid-19 lockdown even as parts of the economy open up. Building on the consumer habit of watching streaming content together as a family, a couple of new firms have entered the game with vernacular content even as older VoD (video-on-demand) services are fast lining up offerings.

Marathi filmmaker Akshay Bardapurkar has launched a new OTT service for content exclusively devoted to the language called Planet Marathi for an annual subscription rate of less than Rs500. Meanwhile, a new service called STAGE will offer original content in dialects or languages such as Haryanavi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, and Konkani and in formats such as comedy, folk, poetry, storytelling and motivational content. Established streaming services are not far behind in recognizing the opportunity in the regional space either.

Netflix has brought out Paava Kadhaigal, a Tamil anthology that features shorts by popular film-makers such as Gautham Vasudev Menon, Sudha Kongara and Vetrimaaran featuring Kalki Koechlin, Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi and others. Amazon Prime Video has Putham Pudhu Kaalai, an anthology of five short films with Rajiv Menon, Suhasini Maniratnam and Karthik Subbaraj.

“At Hoichoi, we aim to bring distinct stories for our diverse audiences with varied tastes. Our upcoming line-up is a reflection of that idea; each one of which is a gripping story of human emotions, filled with suspense, comedy, love, drama, thrill and longing," co-founder of Hoichoi, Vishnu Mohta said in a statement about the service that had notched up 13 million subscribers at last count.

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