To cater to growing small town subscriber, OTT players increase regional content

Rashmi Pratap Mumbai | Updated on October 08, 2018



The rush for regional and original content in the Indian OTT space is giving way to regional-originals as OTT players scramble for a share of the Rs 2,100-crore market.

Singapore-based Spuul and homegrown Zee5, ALTBalaji and Eros Now are busy scripting original shows in regional languages, not just Hindi, as low data rates have expanded the OTT subscriber base.

Regional content

Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India, says nine of 10 new digital Indian is now logging in from the regional consumption background. “Keeping this in mind, we are bringing more content in the preferred language of our users,” he told Business Line.

ZEE5 offers original content in Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. According to Deloitte, OTT players have set aside Rs 3,300 crore for investment in original programming in Hindi and regional languages as they differentiate in the crowded market.

Ridhima Lulla, Chief Content Officer, Eros Digital said, “Since a large part of the business of digital video is personalised experiences, we need to layer a national content strategy with a regional one to have a micro focus on the customer. Our research has shown that the affinity of the customer is far deeper on regional programming as it is more contextual and relevant.”

Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO, ALTBalaji said they too plan to penetrate deeper with regional shows. “Going forward, 25 percent of our shows will be in non-Hindi languages including Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Telugu, Gujarati and Punjabi. Most of our content gets dubbed in regional languages of south.”

Cost Advantage

Rajiv Vaidya, CEO of Singapore-based OTT platform Spuul, said only 20 per cent of the world’s population speaks English and the number is even smaller in India. “Regional originals are a natural progression in any OTT strategy. Most people want to consume content in their own language and originals can be the differentiating factor here,” he said.

Vaidya pointed out that costs of regional originals is over 50 percent less than in Hindi, giving better margins. Spuul serves the huge diaspora of South Asian origin people across the world. It will begin with Punjabi originals and then expand to other languages.

Published on October 08, 2018

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