Regional contents and shows have their own uniqueness, authenticity, and purity that cannot be found in any mainstream show. This was always a known fact and many of us have also appreciated it. The respect came out in the huge limelight with the inevitable pause created by the arrival of Covid-19. The turbulent period has brought hardships to a number of industries such as automobile, hospitality, tourism, and many others. But amid this troublesome time, the most thriving industry is the media and the entertainment industry, especially the OTT sphere and content-driven regional shows.
Confined under the four walls of the house, everyone tuned to the digital platform to get themselves entertained and to cope with the stressful situation of the time. As per the reports released by the PwC (‘Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2020-2024’), India has turned into the fastest-growing market for various OTT platforms. It is expected to turn into the largest market with an annual growth rate of around 28.6% and no one can deny the fact that the appetite for the content and unstoppable digital platform made it all possible. The annual report of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) also indicated the growth of these OTT platforms. All of these made it a more suitable situation to let the market grow at a blistering pace.
OTT Platforms And The Unbeatable Growth Potential
During this period, the digital platform flourished at an unprecedented pace. The year 2020 specifically turned out to be a boon for several OTT platforms. It indisputably changed the way in which we were used to consuming media and getting entertained. These are basically the repercussions of the lockdown.
The growth is not only seen in the larger OTT live streaming platforms and the mainstream shows but it has also reached out to the regional spheres. There is a hike seen in the regional shows and the streaming platforms. Starting from the Aha in Telugu, Koode and Neestream in Malayalam, Talkies in Tulu, Kannada, and Konkani, Regal Talkies in Tamil, Sun NXT in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, and Bengali, Planet Marathi in Marathi, Adda Times in Bengali, and Olly Plus in Odia are the few names that got a huge grounds during the pandemic.
Although these platforms have received initial praise, there is a dire need to give them the opportunity to grow in the larger market. This will not only give the small platform growth but also bring the locally sourced content to the mainstream entertainment world. For example, Neestream is striving to focus on the “art value” of regional films that do not actually get their share of appreciation.
Rise Of Regional Platforms And Content
The regional OTT audiences are gradually expanding beyond metro cities, this is the result of the increase in internet penetration showing immense potential for regional language content to gain popularity. The regional streaming platforms are catering to non-Hindi and non-English markets of entertainment. All these show that the subsequent growth of the OTT landscape is going to be enriched by the Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities and consequently preserve the essence of India i.e. the vernacular languages.
Regional have turned to be the new global as there are decreasing language barriers and acceptance and respect of various vernacular languages which are trying to preserve and increase the reach of the services. Moreover, the central concern is not only the “star performer” but rather is purely content-driven. People are all there to praise for series like ‘The White Tiger’ and ‘Made in Heaven’ in the international market. The game does not end here, in the sphere of Indian regional platforms, movies like “Pushpa” and “Radhe Shyam” are praised by different sets of people. This shows the infinite potential of these regional shows. The power of the regional OTT content can be assumed with “Aarkkariyam” which was initially released on the Malayalam streaming platform and later on got a place in Amazon Prime Videos.
Other than these appreciations, there is tremendous growth seen in the number of regional OTT platforms. Industry experts are diving into the business of entertainment over-the-top. For instance, Katte, the regional OTT, was launched by brothers and movie producers Arvind and Avinash Diwakar with an aim to bring out the stories from Karnataka and content in different dialects of Kannada. Other than that, there are platforms like Studio Mojo, one of the digital media spaces foraying into the business of OTT with Koode (Malayalam) that have shown the immense potential of growth of such regional platforms.
This rising popularity of these small sectors shows its ability to hit the right pulse of the audience all across the states. This has to be given a fair chance to explore the unexplored world of entertainment to show and showcase the authenticity of different regions.
Rising Opportunities for Regional Talents
Owing to the regional content, the demand for regional actors and increasing the employment prospects of the regional population led to a decrease in the financial gap between the metropolitan and Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities. The regional OTT players are providing a platform giving a great pitch to the regional voice in the mainstream entertainment world. Lately, OTT has been providing a platform for regional actors to rise in the pan-India limelight. Starting from the down south, Samantha Ruth Prabhu made her grand debut in “The Family Man”, actor Pratik Gandhi, who is a known face of Gujarati cinema, rose to the mainstream world of entertainment with a remarkable performance in the ‘Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story’ and the counting is still going on, there are many more regional gems who are ready to rock the world of regional cinema.
The story has to continue further, these are just the initial chapters of the story getting unfolded from the near past. Phando provides a wide platform to bring a suitable environment for the regional sections that can make a difference. We are striving to provide one solution that safeguards and preserves regional culture, cinema, and tradition. This will help in greater scalability, reachability with an effective monetization for the various regional streaming platforms. We at Phando put our best foot forward to disrupt the mainstream OTT market bringing in a regional perspective. At last, it is all about bringing all of us to an equal ground to at least run the world with a little more equitable nature. With this initiative in mind, we are there to bring the best at the top of the race.