Desi shows to rake in viewers

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The Indian entertainment scene is witnessing a seismic change with 30 over-the-top (OTT) platforms vying for space as players look to differentiate themselves, says a new report, adding that players like Netflix and Amazon Prime now need to create more desi content to bring more users to their platforms.Massive capital commitments have been made by platforms for building libraries of diverse original content over the last couple of years for the Indian audience.

OTT services attract a more individualistic audience compared to the family viewers in a country dominated by single TV households. “Hence, the content on these platforms needs to appeal to different consumer sensibilities and have an element of freshness. While OTT players can attract their chosen target audience for sampling content with a few originals that appeal to them, depth in such digital-native original content becomes vital to ensure consumer stickiness in the long run,” the findings showed.

As nine out of 10 new Internet users in India are likely to be Indian language users, it is vital for OTT players to cater to this audience in their native language.Most of the video-on-demand (VOD) platforms have content offerings in regional languages. But such content has been restricted to select movies along with a handful of original shows, if any.

“However, dubbing has emerged as an effective tool for players to quickly expand the breadth of original and movie content available across multiple regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, and Marathi,” the report noted.For example, Prime Video has dubbed popular Hindi originals like Inside Edge and Breathe to Tamil and Telugu. In addition to originals, Prime Video has also tried to increase depth in their regional library by dubbing English movies like Apha, Rampage, etc. to Tamil and Telugu.

Similarly, Hotstar has used dubbing to launch the Hindi web-series Criminal Justice in six regional languages – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bangla, Malayalam and Marathi.”OTT players like Netflix and Amazon prime have started hiring writers to add contextual flavour to dialogues in English in addition to launching regional web series,” said the report.

Long-form content has grown with players like Netflix, Prime Video, Zee5 and Alt Balaji focusing on creating originals with episodes ranging from 20 to 60 minutes. Short form content is highly popular on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.”Short form is also receiving due attention from OTT platforms like Eros Now and Hoichoi who are building their short form content libraries with short stories, comedies, interviews, etc,” said the KPMG report.