Regional language content gaining streaming popularity. Marathi video broadcasts, TV shows in Bojpuri and advertisements in Malayalam are set to end the domination of Hindi and English as a growing number of Indians choose to use the media and entertainment in their own language when given the opportunity to do so.
Regional languages will also account for 60% of television use by the year 2025 from about 55% by 2020 and 50% of video streaming from 30% by 2019, according to a March 26 Ficci-EY news and entertainment industry report.
The year 2020 laid the foundation for the expansion of the regional language, with the launch of Marathi music channel Zee Vajwa, Enterr10 Television’s Dangal Kannada, and Enterr10 Rangeela in Bhojpuri. Media experts say that the trend will continue, although the English and Hindi versions may decline.
Arpit Machhar, head of marketing, Enterr10 Television Network, in an interview said that the regional markets have great potential and a wide range, most of which are unrestricted, which provides an opportunity for expansion in networks such as Enterr10 that are determined to expand their presence beyond the Hindi-speaking band.
Covid-19 lockdown has seen foreign video streaming operators such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video expand libraries in all Indian languages. Existing language-based broadcasting service providers have expanded their designs and new regional venues such as Aha to Telugu. Akshay Bardapurkar who is a Marathi film producer who is is also floating in a Marathi language video streaming service called Planet Marathi.
With limited TV advertising by name, advertising in regional languages is also about to end. The Ficci-EY report said that as internet growth is encouraged by regional subscribers, the share of language advertising will grow. Finally, half of the ads will be done in regional languages, followed by Hindi (47%) and only 3-4% in English, according to the report. This is in line with YouTube’s first Ads Leaderboard Report report which stated that the top 10 most watched ads in the second half of 2020 were in regional languages.
Karthik Srinivasan, communications strategy coordinator, said the products have seen that calling only Hindi or English ads in local languages will no longer work. Even in print, brands are actively starting to do more for the home language in their ads or are trying to write local language texts in English.
He said that this is because people are self-confident in their native languages, often marking signs on social media to highlight the lack of home language in advertisements. In an English newspaper, the opportunities for local language advertising stand out are much higher than in English. Writing the local language ads in the English script is also a great way to connect with the new customers in regional markets because most of them can speak the language but can’t read or write it.