OTT platforms embrace regional languages in over half of content

  • The share of vernacular content will increase to 55% of total content produced as regional OTT platforms flourish and achieve scale on the back of dubbing and subtitling, according to the latest Ficci and EY media and entertainment industry report.

Lata Jha
First Published29 Apr 2024, 11:38 AM IST
Earlier this month, Amazon miniTV, Amazon’s free video streaming service launched a bouquet of over 200 shows and movies dubbed in Tamil and Telugu languages.
Earlier this month, Amazon miniTV, Amazon’s free video streaming service launched a bouquet of over 200 shows and movies dubbed in Tamil and Telugu languages.(Amazon miniTV)

The share of vernacular content will increase to 55% in the mid to long term of the total content produced as regional OTT platforms flourish and achieve scale on the back of dubbing and subtitling, according to the latest Ficci and EY media and entertainment industry report. According to industry experts, the share of vernacular content is around 30% now.

This could also lead to increased costs for regional content production even though several video streaming platforms are yet to bet aggressively on non-Hindi original series even as the focus on producing diverse content remains. Now, regional content makes up less than 30% of OTT budgets and it could increase to 40-50%. A regional original can cost around 20 crore or more currently.

Earlier this month, Amazon miniTV, Amazon’s free video streaming service launched a bouquet of over 200 shows and movies dubbed in Tamil and Telugu languages.

The line-up of dubbed titles includes Hindi originals of miniTV such as Hunter- Tootega Nahi Todega, Physics Wallah and Rakshak- India’s Braves, besides Hollywood movies dubbed in Tamil and Telugu, including Twilight, Now You See Me, Hunger Games series, the Step Up franchise, Red, and more. Further, the service will also bring to its customers Korean, Turkish and Mandarin shows dubbed in Tamil and Telugu languages.

Aruna Daryanani, director, and business head at Amazon miniTV said in a statement that the initiative reflects the company’s dedication to cater to the preferences of its regional audiences. “The foray will enable us to associate with new advertisers as well and we look forward to building partnerships,” Daryanani had added.

Meanwhile, Disney+ Hotstar too is going aggressive on the southern originals market. It has launched 20 specials in the south and five south originals – Save The Tigers and Shaitan in Telugu, KCF in Malayalam and KKK and Label in Tamil. These have emerged as success stories in terms of subscription, retention and engagement. 

Save The Tigers Season 2 which was launched recently went on to become the most-watched scripted special ever in Telugu for the platform, while KKK Season 2 outperformed season one by 50%. The service is collaborating with names like Jeethu Joseph, Maari Selvaraj, Manikandan, Vijay Sethupathi, Nivin Pauly and Suraj Venjaramoodu, among others, for upcoming projects.

“Quality content is language agnostic; it always finds its audience and appreciation. With OTT, the reach expands manifold, which is further amplified through localization and marketing initiatives. The stories therefore reach a wider consumer base enabling the platforms to target multiple audience cohorts,” Manish Kalra, chief business officer, ZEE5 India said. 

The platform has seen success with regional language originals such as Abar Proloy (Bengali) which is also available in Hindi, Ayali (Tamil) which is available in Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Bengali, besides Koose Munisamy Veerappan, Ayali, and Sengalam, in Tamil and Vyavastha, Puli Meka, and Maya Bazaar For Sale in Telugu. 

“Regional content has been on an upward swing from an investment and revenue point of view. Our focus on expanding the regional content slate and enhancing localization procedures for increased consumption has been consistent,” Kalra added.

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First Published:29 Apr 2024, 11:38 AM IST
HomeIndustryOTT platforms embrace regional languages in over half of content

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