While ‘regional’ is definitely the buzzword across the content industry and the entire digital content ecosystem. The choice for going ‘vernacular’ by the consumer who now has a plethora of options with OTT platforms practically bombarding ‘regional original content’ almost on a daily basis. The average consumer is firstly spoilt for choice and secondly finds it difficult to keep a track of which show is on which platform. However, the insights that an industry reports provide clearly encourage the content industry to constantly keep creating original content,that too in the vernacular language.
According to the KPMG & Eros Now’s Unravelling the Digital Video Consumer report released recently, 30% of 1,458 OTT users from 16 cities across India prefer to watch content in languages other than Hindi and English.
It is common knowledge that movies on OTT platforms attract fresher eye balls and gets back the loyal movie buffs; 30% of the respondents prefer watching movies on OTT platforms. Only 10% prefer watching ‘Originals’ on OTT platforms. However the report does not provide any data for language preference out of the 10% that prefer watching originals on OTT platforms. It does provide the language preference of overall content consumption on OTT. 20% respondents prefer South India based languages clearly justifying the content explosion happening in languages such as Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.
English language content continues to attract not so good numbers only 6% respondents prefer to consume English language content across OTT platforms. The slag period for English language content on television has seemed to have a rub off effect on OTT consumption too.
Hindi, on the other hand dominates the choice of language, understandably because of the amount of content created in Hindi. While Indian origin OTT platforms such as Zee5 and Hotstar are going all guns blazing on creating Hindi and regional content, international OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime are slowly picking up on creating more Hindi content.
Another interesting fact that the report discusses is that Regional language speakers have a clear affinity for content in their spoken language, for example, 90% of the respondents speaking Tamil and Kannada language preferred content in their spoken language. Other languages such as Gujarati, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi also saw a similar trend.
While it’s a great time to be a consumer with the amount of content and platform choices, being a content creator or a provider too seems promising; but in the long-run.