Dulquer Salmaan’s Malayalam film Salute will not have to wait for the film to hit theaters and will premiere on SonyLIV on March 18th. It was delayed due to the emergence from the plague of covid-19. The crime thriller produced by Rosshan Andrewws, has been made by Salmaan under the banner of Wayfarer Films. Similar to other local and foreign streaming providers, SonyLIV has been building its local content library , and has recently screened Tamil festival favorite the Thaen. For certain, media experts agree that video streaming services must remain focused on original content in local languages if they are hoping to reach further into the Indian core. According to a report released in December of 2020 media and entertainment report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) 35-40% of all consumption of OTT services occurs through local language. The report said that streaming services had tripled the original content that they offer for Indian languages between the year 2018 between 2018 and 2020. This was 1,400-1,800 hours per year in 2020.
While international services like Netflix as well as Amazon are experimenting with Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and other regional languages, the homegrown OTT service ZEE5 has released nearly two originals every month in Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Kannada in the last few months. Disney+ Hotstar, too is exploring regional content , releasing the first of movies destined for theaters.
Additionally, there has been a consolidation process and the introduction of specific services based on language, like Hoichoi Bengali, aha Video Telugu and Letsflix Marathi. The emphasis on regional languages is logical considering that the percentage of rural India has increased by 23 percent , making up 52 percent of the Internet users in India until March 2021, as per the report.OTT platforms like Netflix as well as Amazon are betting heavily on regional content for the past few months and have produced shows like Paava Kadhaigal, Pitta Kathalu, Navarasa and Putham Pudhu Kaalai..