‘Vocal for Local’ is not just a slogan for entrepreneurs and startups anymore; it’s transcending borders and developing a new attitude toward localized content on OTT (Over The Top) platforms.
The Coronavirus pandemic prevented travel and other movements, we were all compelled to remain at home. COVID-19 was expected to be a setback for filmmakers and content producers in many ways, according to industry experts. However, this pandemic surprisingly shed light on new filmmakers, actors, and stories in other languages and dialects.
Let’s go over the rise of vernacular OTT platforms and content in India, especially in the past year.
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Several over-the-top (OTT) services offering material in regional languages have sprung up in the past year. AHA was founded by Tollywood producers Allu Aravind and Ram Gopal Varma, as well as Spark, an over-the-top (OTT) platform. OTT has a lot on the line, and many have great hopes.
Juggernaut Productions’ COO, Samar Khan, spoke on the development potential of regional content in light of the increasing demand for material in one’s home language. According to him, “Yes, the material is better digested in your native tongue or the language of comfort, and with the demand for content increasing, it’s only natural that content begins being produced in regional languages,”
Because of new technologies, the Indian regional market is growing rapidly. People in rural regions, small towns, and large cities now have better access to internet connections than they had before.
Global consumption of regional language content on OTT platforms would reach 50% by 2025, according to the FICCI-EY study on Media and Entertainment (M&E) Industry. Because regional OTT providers will be creating more unique content that is culturally and socially sensitive, believes Kashyap.
According to some estimates, the OTT business is worth $500 million now and may reach $1.5 billion in 2025.
Planet Marathi’s founder, Akshay Bardapurkar, stated, “India is a big nation, but it’s regional to its foundation, hyper-local material works well, it’s always wonderful to see your experiences being conveyed to the universe in a cinematic manner.” According to him, over-the-top (OTT) is here to stay and develop, but a lot of the burden rests on regional content producers and regional OTT platforms.
The OTT business in India needs to expand the reach of regional cinema to allow it to thrive in order to enhance regional content’s contribution. For example, regional content creators can launch their own Video on Demand platform using Ventuno. This will enable them to showcase their work based on monthly, quarterly, and annual plans, or even charge viewers based on custom interval durations. To entice more viewers, they can even add free trials to get them hooked.
This will not only help meet the rising demand for regional content, but will also give a platform for new content creators to thrive and put their material out there easily.
Furthermore, rural audiences are also eager to pick up the trend from their counterparts. To a greater extent, consumers will embrace the product if it offers a diverse range of entertainment options such as soap operas, reality TV programs, movies in their native language, and interactive games.
Over the years, Indian cinema has seen a shift. Many regional films have found success at the box office and are beloved by people in other states, even if they don’t understand their language. Examples include Sairat (Marathi) and Bahubali (Telugu).
According to Google, 90% of individuals prefer searching in their native language in the year 2020. As a result, individuals are making different choices and decisions about a variety of things, including how they watch over-the-top (OTT) content. With extra time on their hands due to the pandemic, consumers investigated OTT material in record numbers.
Now, the same individuals have changed a little in terms of the material they post. Their need for high-quality content that informs, enlightens and entertains them has grown exponentially in the last several years.
The local cinema is experimenting a lot with material, and films are no longer centered around male leads . Examples abound, including Piku, Queen, Raazi (in Hindi), and Uyare (in Malayalam).
“As production costs have increased, so has the quality of the work. New styles of producing material are being presented daily from across the world, so it’s no longer just the same old tales being repeated. Instead, fresher narratives are being created via the use of new content. Because web series are gaining popularity and are unlike traditional films, originals will rise in popularity in the near future“Bardapurkar said.
India has seen a growth of regional OTT platforms in areas such as Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh-Telangana in the last few years, particularly when COVID-19 shuttered cinemas.
There is no next phase for regional and major languages like Hindi and English, according to Bardapurkar. Instead, regional material will surpass the English and Hindi since there is more passion and pride engaged in the regional areas than ever before, he added.
One such site is AHA (Telugu), while others in this genre include Planet Marathi, Koode (Malayalam), as well as City Short TV. There is still more regional material being added.
However, content consumption is growing at an exponential rate in Hindi and English as well as a few local languages. As a result, content production would increase not just in Hindi but also in regional languages.
While there are many options available for consumers, the good news for vernacular content creators is that the demand for this content is also on the rise. Along these lines, in case you are a Vernacular Content Creator hoping to capitalize on this trend, creating your own OTT app will provide you the opportunity to establish your brand. With high-quality content, you are sure to capture the hearts of your homeland.
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