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Telugu action thriller Yashoda starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu will stream on Amazon Prime Video on 9 December. The film directed by Hari-Harish will be available in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam as well.

Movies in the four south Indian languages, particularly Tamil and Telugu, including their dubbed Hindi versions, are bringing big returns for streaming platforms, contributing 10-25% to overall viewership, following the trend of their popularity on satellite television.

While niche, experimental films have been discovered beyond their home states, mass-market offerings starring actors like Dhanush, Rajinikanth and Allu Arjun on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and MX Player have also grabbed eyeballs, as families come together to watch stars.

Tamil film Jagame Thandhiram on Netflix, for instance, drew an equal share of audience from outside India as it attracted from within the country. The Dhanush-starrer has been in the top 10 row in 12 countries outside India and has been number one in the top 10 row in seven countries, including India, Malaysia and the UAE. It was subtitled and dubbed in multiple Indian and other languages, including English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

The share of regional languages in overall OTT (over-the-top) video content will likely double to 54% in 2024, from 27% in 2020, as more and more streaming platforms take to vernacular programming and films, as per a recent Ficci EY report. In 2021, 47% of OTT originals and 69% of films released on platforms were not in Hindi.

OTT platforms such as VOOT, SonyLIV and Disney+ Hotstar, too, are following in the footsteps of global giants Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to acquire films in the four south Indian languages besides Marathi and Punjabi as they seek to lure subscribers from tier-two and tier-three towns.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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