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Indian SVOD audience consumes content in more than four languages: Study

Subtitling and dubbing options make it easier for audiences to watch content in multiple languages

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Mumbai: The Indian subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) audience consumes content in 4.6 languages on an average, found a study by media consulting firm Ormax Media.

The presence of widely available subtitling and dubbing options available on SVOD platforms makes it much easier for audiences to watch content outside their native language. The study found that for advertising video-on-demand services that outlook on language content is more conservative, primarily because of the low presence of multi-language dubbing on AVOD services, including YouTube.

The study titled ‘Ormax OTT Audience Report: 2022’ is based on research conducted across more than 6,000 SVOD and SVOD audiences in urban India. As per the report’s estimates for the year 2021, India’s digital video audience universe stood at 353.2 million out of which 31 per cent were SVOD audience while the remaining 69 per cent were AVOD audience.

As per Ormax’s findings, a large share of the audience of content in the four South Indian languages comes from outside their native state. For example, 88 per cent Malayalam content viewers are from outside Kerala, while 82 per cent Tamil content viewers are from outside Tamil Nadu.

Dubbing has also fuelled the growth of English and other foreign language content, including Korean, according to the report. It found that 65 per cent SVOD audience and 43 per cent AVOD audience in urban India watch English language content, though a sizable section among them (more than half) prefer to watch it in an Indian language via dubbing.

Average number of languages of content consumption among SVOD audience are higher in the Southern states, with Karnataka leading with an average of 5.7 languages. UP, Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh rank the lowest on this measure, at an average of less than four languages.

“Streaming is a fast-growing category in India, and hence, it is important for content creators and marketers to constantly upgrade their understanding of the audiences, their taste, their viewing habits, and their viewing triggers,” said Ormax Media founder and CEO Shailesh Kapoor. “This report is a comprehensive update on how the behaviour and choices of Indian OTT audience have evolved over the course of the pandemic years, where there was unprecedented exposure to streaming content”.

“A lot of AVOD content is being made in India today with an SVOD lens,” noted Kapoor. “However, this report reveals that the formats and genres preferred by SVOD and AVOD audiences are significantly different from each other. Since streaming has come up in India only recently in a big way, a lot of content greenlighting in the category has happened on instinct so far, without any robust consumer data to aid the decision-making process. The Ormax OTT Audience Report is our endeavour to help platforms make more informed content choices.”

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