OTT players charm users with regional content

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 03, 2017

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SonyLiv, ALT Digital, YouTube, NexGTV focussing on creating original content

As more consumers get digital saavy and data infrastructure becomes cheaper, over-the-top players and content creators are wooing the masses with regional content.

Companies are making investments in original content and not just aggregated content to spur growth from the regional market.

Players such as Amazon Prime, SonyLiv from SPN stable, Ekta Kapoor’s ALT Digital, Voot, and YouTube are all focusing on creating or aggregating original content.

SonyLiv, for instance, has announced the launch of ‘Yolo’, the first-ever regional language web-series on an OTT platform in India. “As growth in digital goes beyond the metros, a lot of demand for content will be from the regional space. Our aim in launching regional was to address this market,” Uday Sodhi, Head, Digital Business, SonyLiv, said.

Sodhi said the company is evaluating the possibility of even aggregating regional content.

Ekta Kapoor-owned ALT Digital Media said it will be launching at 32 shows in year. It is exploring six shows in regional languages, including Tamil, Telugu Bengali and Punjabi.

“We realised that there was a market for shows between Naagin and Narcos.

“The regional market is under served and we will be catering to such markets. We have commissioned various shows in regional language and will be launched by next month,” Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO, Balaji ALT Digital Media, said.

The company, which had raised ₹150 crore recently, said a chunk of proceeds from fund raising would go into content creation.

Content aggregating platform NexGTV too said that it is going heavy on regional content.

Targeting smaller cities

“Cheaper data is spurring growth in the tier-2 and -3 cities for OTT players. OTT platforms realise that there is a market for regional content. Also there are a slew of content creators for the regional market or local cable television. We have tied up with several such players besides leading players like BBC to capitalise on their regional feeds,” Abhesh Verma, COO, NexGTV, said.

He added that the company has also made discovery of regional content easier on its apps.

According to industry reports, India is among the developing digital economies on the planet today, consisting 13.3 per cent of universal Internet users. India’s Internet user base stands at 461.12 million.

Rural growing

It also estimates that 75 per cent of new Internet users are going to be from rural India and also 75 per cent of new Internet users to consume data in local languages.

YouTube recently said it is seeing surge in active users.

“The content ecosystem has matured in the last year due to improved internet access. With over 300 million smartphone users in the country, creators are coming from tier-2 and -3 cities. We are ramping up our ecosystem to make India a successful content creators,” David Powell, Director, Online Partnerships and Development, YouTube, APAC, said.

Published on April 03, 2017
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