Home / Industry / Telugu OTT platform aha to premiere Tamil show ‘Irai’

Telugu video streaming service aha has forayed into Tamil content with a new show called Irai that will start to stream on 18 February. The show is directed by Rajesh M Selva and features Sarath Kumar in the lead.

aha Video, which was launched in March 2020, benefited from the covid-19 lockdown and also the first-mover advantage as a big Telugu platform in its home state.

Platforms such as aha Video are trying to grab eyeballs in the face of stiff competition from foreign streaming services that are betting big on regional content. Netflix released its first Telugu original Pitta Kathalu last February and has seen films such as Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya, both in the same language, feature in its top 10 row in India.

Amazon Prime acquired big Telugu star vehicles such as Narappa and Tuck Jagadish for direct release during the pandemic, while Disney+ Hotstar streamed its first Telugu original show, Unheard, last September.

Platforms like aha Video may not have deep pockets like the foreign streaming services, but they claim their offerings are differentiated and their understanding of the local market is a distinct advantage.

Debuting with original shows such as Kotha Poradu, Masti’s, Shithappens, Locked and Geetha Subhramanyam, the service has also found traction in non-fiction properties like Sam Jam and No.1 Yaari with Rana and the spate of films acquired during the lockdown which were compelled to skip theatrical release, such as Colour Photo, Bhanumathi & Ramakrishna, and Thank You, Brother, among others.

“Unlike earlier, when the primary target of OTT platforms was the young male, both before and since the pandemic, we have tried to make sure our films and shows appeal to the whole family who may no longer want to be dictated by appointment viewing. Hence, we’ve focused on everything from drama and romance to youth programming," aha CEO Ajit Thakur had said in an earlier interview to Mint.


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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