TV, digital platforms gravitate towards regional content

Regional content consumption on TV shot up to 50 per cent of the total TV consumption in 2020
Last Updated : 06 April 2021, 04:06 IST

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The year 2020 witnessed a paradigm shift in the way OTT platforms and television viewed content with their focus getting divided between English and Hindi content and regional language content. Interestingly, a recent report shows that audience consumption has been mirroring this trend.

According to a FICCI-EY report titled 'Playing by new rules', the share of regional content will increase to 60 per cent of all TV consumption in 2025 from 50 per cent in 2020, and the OTT platforms will see the same increasing to 50 per cent from 30 per cent in 2019.

In 2020, Hindi and Tamil content had the largest viewership while English content saw a huge fall of 28 per cent. Regional content consumption on TV shot up to 50 per cent of the total TV consumption. This also showed improved quality and an increase in content on regional channels. Regional channels had seen 13 per cent more volume in 2019 as compared to the year before that.

As for digital content consumption in terms of streaming music, regional language music contributed to 39 per cent of all streaming. There was also a spike in digital news consumption with 9 out of 10 top online newspapers being in regional languages.

In 2020, OTT platforms stepped up to fill the void left by cinemas shutting down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Netflix, Disney+Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video had the biggest market share in India for the direct release of new Bollywood movies that were in the post-production stages when the pandemic. The OTT platforms increased investment in regional language original content. Regional Language OTT platforms like Ana (Telugu), Koode (Malayalam), and City Shor TV (Gujarati) were new entries in this field. Marathi OTT space will also see the launch of Planet Marathi and Letsflix.

Five regional films featured in other countries' top 10 list. All of these movies were either in Telugu, Tamil, or Malayalam.

When we talk about advertising, in television, ads fell by 21.5 per cent while digital advertising remained flat at Rs 191.5 billion, growing by 1% in 2020.

Regional television channels received 27 per cent more ads than national channels. In 2019, regional channels had got 13 per cent more volume as compared to the year before that. A total of five genres - Tamil News, Punjabi General Entertainment Channels (GEC), Gujarati movies, Bhojpuri movies and Bengali kids - saw the highest increase in new advertisements, all coming from the regional language market. Regional ad rates have been rising faster as compared to Hindi-speaking markets over the last two years.

Digital advertising, despite staying flat and seeing a fall between April-June in 2020, became the second-largest advertising segment after television. Local language advertisements increased their share. YouTube released its first regional language ads leaderboard report in which 10 of the most-viewed ads in the second half of 2020 were in regional languages. Regional internet subscribers continue to rule the roost in India and to target these users, it is expected that in the future, only 3-4 per cent of ads will be in English and 47 per cent will be in Hindi, and the rest would be dominated by regional languages.

Several categories increased spend on digital-medium advertising while expanding their online sales channels making e-commerce advertising touch Rs 35 billion.

Published 05 April 2021, 11:18 IST

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