How Kerala is shifting from television to digital viewing

When I made Karikku, I envisaged a million subscribers by 2020 but to my surprise it enlisted 6.2 million, across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, in this year itself. With digital, on-demand has actually become possible and people are now able to watch what they want, anywhere, any time. Apart from this, Kerala is also the most digitally sound state (smartphone penetration in Kerala is 65%) with the most engaged audience. Content creators, on a national level, are trying to bring in a Kerala element in their content, so as to attract this audience.

Content in general is becoming language-agnostic and the presence of Malayali actors in recent other language web series is an example of the same. More Malayali talent and creators are getting national attention and therefore, yes, more Malayalam strains will enter national content. There is a huge opportunity for content creators in Kerala which is currently unexplored. This is currently in the learning stage and the shift from watching content on TV to digital is moving at a real fast pace.

Currently, comedy is the easiest way to reach people and also the fastest growing genre. However, as the user base expands, people with varied interest in other genres will also increase and this increase will lead to expectation of creating and watching content across genre(s). It helps growth in the digital space, humour can be conveyed in minimum time. Thera Para, for instance, grew out of the minute or so long videos made during the FIFA season, FIFA World Cup 2018 . The characters were created then, after, the World Cup, gauging their popularity I created the series with these characters.

The most encouraging part for creators is that brands are spending more on digital. In addition to this, brands are advertising through in-video integrations. TV is a safe bet because it still gets significant viewership, but it is slowly giving way to other online streaming services. In general, companies are shifting their “traditional ad spend” such as TV to digital because one, the possibility of users missing the ad or the ad going unnoticed isn’t there on digital.

Brand investment for in-video integration is also lifetime. There is no duration for this type of advertising. Any user watching the video any time, any year will always see the brand. Secondly there is the personal touch —it helps you not only reach audiences, but also hear from the audience what they like about the brand and what they can change, and more. Our first client was a mobile phone store, to whom we pitched the idea. They were interested and we did an episode on the types of mobile phone buyers. That was the only pitch we had to make, after that clients started approaching us.

To conclude, the shift from television viewing to digital will happen within a period of five years. People would prefer long-form content like films and documentaries on digital platforms. During this shift phase, more and more users are going to be educated on digital viewership and how on-demand is different from television.

(The writer is founder and creative head of YouTube viral hit Karikku)

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2022 2:49:45 am |