Tamil Nadu

Streaming services betting big on Tamil, Telugu markets

‘Southern cinema figures among the most successful content generators in the last decade’

Online video streaming service providers are betting big on Tamil and Telugu audiences to create a niche for themselves, amid the booming smartphone market.

A recent report from research firm Ambit pointed out that the content aggregators agreed on the need to dominate niches. “Specifically, Telugu and Tamil Diaspora have high propensity to pay and subscription models could evolve for them,” it added.

“Users down South are inherent connoisseurs of music and movies. They are passionate about movies and patronise their favourite stars. With high literacy rates and an affinity to gadgets and digital platforms, users from the South skew towards consumption on these platforms,” Siddhartha Roy, CEO of Hungama.com, told The Hindu.

He pointed out that Tamil and Telugu are among the top five languages consumed on its platform and the firm has seen a substantial growth in paid subscribers from the region, while the audience also patronise Hollywood and Bollywood content.

Local shows preferred

“Southern cinema and star-driven Tamil films have emerged as among the most successful Indian content in the last decade, finding both national reach and viewers. We have learnt that consumers everywhere like compelling content and are interested in watching some of the best of global shows but prefer strong local content,” said a spokesperson from Amazon India, which runs Amazon Prime streaming service.

The spokesperson added that the firm is in talks with content producers in Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali markets.

“In Tamil, we have partnerships with Dream Warrior Pictures, V Creations and Studio Green, and in Telugu, we have tied up with Lakshmi Narasimha Productions, DVV Entertainments. We will continue to offer varied content to ensure there is something for everyone. We remain committed to playing an industry leader role in taking video streaming to the Indian audiences with content that will drive this viewership across metros as well as tier 2 and tier 3 cities all over India,” the spokesperson said.

Rich, varied content

“There is a rich variety of content offerings from Telugu and Tamil markets and the higher end of the movie category could surely see subscription content,” Ajay Vidyasagar, regional director, APAC Partnerships, You Tube, said.

“After Hindi, Tamil and Telugu market has the largest denominator online. We have recently launched our first Tamil show called Maya Thirai (Illusions) and we have seen a good spike in viewership from places such as Singapore and Dubai. We will soon be announcing a Telugu show,” Manav Sethi, chief marketing officer, ALTBalaji, the digital arm of Balaji Telefilms Ltd, said.

Mr. Roy said Hungama has seen substantial traction and consumption in both international and domestic markets.

“Consumption of Tamil and Telugu music has more than doubled in the last six months in international markets,” he added.

Mr. Roy also pointed out that on the back of rising smartphone sales and falling data tariffs the over-the-top (the term used for the delivery of film and television content via the internet) market is growing at a healthy pace of 35-40% year-on-year.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:30:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/streaming-services-betting-big-on-tamil-telugu-markets/article19526350.ece

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