Chandigarh-based television channel Pitaara TV, known for its Punjabi language content, will launch an over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform this month with programming in Punjabi, Haryanvi and Bhojpuri.
“Regional language players like us are not competing with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, and we do not have aspirations to become as big but just do well in our own world with the content and technology we have,” said Sandeep Bansal, managing director, Pitaara TV who also owns channels such as Divya and 9X Tashan. Bansal said the platform will launch with a mix of content—both acquired films and originals, and has plans to bring out two new originals every month at least for the next three to six months. The app, which will be available across mobile, TV and laptops, has not finalized a price plan but Bansal said it should be available for less than ₹100 per month.
“Earlier, it used to be a big deal to speak in or watch content in English or Hindi. But times have changed and people want to stay connected to their roots and mother tongue,” Bansal said.
To be sure, as big foreign and broadcaster-led streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar and SonyLIV ramp up their regional content slate, a bunch of independent video-on-demand services, many specializing in a specific language, are enrolling subscribers keen to watch content in local tongues.
Regional language over-the-top (OTT) video streaming firms, including aha Video, OHO Gujarati, Planet Marathi, Nine Rasa, and NeeStream offer content in languages such as Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu, and Kannada to not just keep slates robust, but also often to provide a platform for creators who may not find a voice on the bigger platforms.
Authenticity and reach are the USPs for regional language platforms believe media experts. Also, they are a one-stop solution for a specific language and reinstating that is the core strategy to tackle foreign players.
A report by Recogn, the market research division of digital marketing agency WATConsult released last July, said 70% of Indians would access the Internet in their native languages by the end of 2020. It had added that programmes around food, entertainment and education are always deemed better in local languages. An EY survey said that 21% of the respondents in non-metros said they would spend more on entertainment compared with5% in the metros. Further, according to a study by marketing and public relations company Dentsu, while the number of new OTT subscriptions purchased during the lockdown period spiked throughout the country, north India is more receptive of upcoming regional OTT platforms. Live Mint