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Content makers, OTTs look beyond southern languages

After tasting success with dubbed Southern movies across India, the content creators and streaming service platform owners are taking regional languages ​​like Marathi, Punjabi and Bengali to a wider audience.

whereas Har Har MahadeviA Marathi film by Zee Studios will hit the theaters in multiple languages ​​this Diwali. OTT (over-the-top) streaming services Netflix, SonyLIV, ShemarooMe and ZEE5 are investing in movies as well as web shows in these languages.

Media industry experts said that in order to penetrate deeper into the market, content platforms need to offer movies and shows from across the country. Given the strong film industry and great talent, Marathi content is first in line to benefit from this trend, while Gujarati and Punjabi content is also gaining traction.

“The success of Southern language programming has somewhere blurred the distinction between mainstream and local content. Consumers today want to see high quality content in the language of their choice, in a convenient format, and at a price that delivers the highest value proposition. The geographical gap in the creative world is now thankfully bridging, as the next chapter of entertainment with OTT is more transparent and stands for quality content,” said Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India.

The platform entered Punjabi speaking markets last year and has seen traction for releases such as Kismet 2, Puada And I am not married Whereas an increase in demand for Marathi content has been observed with projects like Pandu And Zombivli. The Bengali line-up includes Shikarpur, Which marks the OTT debut of Bengali star Ankush Hazra, blood thinner Featuring Raima Sen and Vikram Chatterjee, and white black, “The content catalog is designed keeping consumer preferences in mind as we aim to bring in good quality stories whether through production or acquisition. Our focus is on collaborating with talent across regions to enhance authenticity and high resonance while enabling them to connect with a global audience.”

With the evolution of digital video platforms, the regional preferences of consumers are accelerating and scaling up, said Hiren Gada, Chief Executive Officer Shemaroo Entertainment Limited The company is focusing on Gujarati and Marathi content, but also offers titles in Punjabi, Bengali and other languages. “In Gujarati, we are getting movies as well as making original web series whereas in Marathi, it is mainly films. We have also launched large consumer propositions with marketing and other on-ground activities in the Gujarat market as well as other Gujarati speaking diaspora markets around the world. India is a heterogeneous country with diverse languages, so we saw language opportunities where scalability is available and we have the right to win.”

Initially, the streaming services were focused on Hindi and the four southern markets as these were considered to have the largest audience base, said Hima Bulusu, associate director of lead accounts at digital agency TheSmallBigIdea. “However, severe content fatigue developed in 2020 due to the lockdown and many viewers migrated to watch new content exclusively in their native language,” Bulusu said, as eyeballs went online and viewers began to watch the language. For the subtitle barrier crossed. Subject, OTT The platforms had no option but to offer content in regional languages.

For example, Netflix is ​​now streaming titles like Firebrand (Marathi), 15th August (Marathi), Routing for Runa (Bengali) and The Discipline (Marathi). SonyLIV recently premiered a Marathi show named Pet Purana, Bulusu said, “As regional-specific OTT players like Hoichoi and Planet Marathi in particular have garnered a lot of fan following with their content, the big OTT players are investing heavily to play catchup and capitalize on this new wave. “

“India is constantly looking inwards, and in recent times the focus is shifting from India to India. Siddharth Singh, co-founder of marketing agency KapShup, said, like any other sector, it is market forces that decide what and when content is to be consumed. OTTs are looking at populous states like Punjab and Maharashtra to add new viewers. That said, taking over is a go-to strategy for OTT as it is a tried and tested formula and is less risky than the original. Aazoopark

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