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Ormax media report reveals vast potential for language content on streaming services

The study also indicates that Indian SVOD (subscription video on demand) and AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) audiences prefer significantly different formats and genres.

Our Correspondent

The media consulting firm Ormax Media has shed light on the vast potential for language content on Indian streaming services in its Ormax OTT Audience Report: 2022. The document is based on research conducted across more than 6,000 SVOD (subscription video on demand) and AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) audiences in urban India. This is India’s largest profiling study on the streaming category.

According to Ormax Media’s 2021 estimates, the Indian digital video audience universe was placed at 353.2 million, out of which 31% of viewers comprised the SVOD audience while the remaining 69% accounted for the AVOD audience.

In the latest report, which is available for subscription for streaming platforms, brands and content producers, the SVOD and AVOD groups have been profiled in great depth based on different aspects of their digital video consumption, including viewing behaviour, languages, format and genre preference.

The report indicates that audiences are watching content across multiple languages, largely because of dubbing and subtitling options that are widely available, especially on SVOD platforms. Interestingly, an Indian SVOD audience watches content in 4.6 languages on an average.

Moreover, a sizeable number of the audience that views content in South Indian languages comes from outside the states where these tongues are spoken. For example, 88% of Malayalam content viewers are from outside Kerala, while 82% of Tamil content viewers are from outside Tamil Nadu.

The report also reveals that the AVOD outlook on language content is more conservative, primarily because of the low presence of multi-language dubbing on AVOD services, including YouTube.

Dubbing has also helped fuel the growth of English and other foreign-language content, including Korean, for Indian audiences. Furthermore, 65% of the SVOD audience and 43% of the AVOD audience in urban India watch English language content. However, a sizeable section among them (more than half) prefer to watch it in an Indian language via dubbing.

The average number of languages with regard to content consumption among the SVOD audience is higher in the Southern states, with Karnataka leading with an average of 5.7 languages. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh rank the lowest on this metric, with an average of less than four languages.

Ormax Media’s founder and CEO Shailesh Kapoor stated that 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 tastes and viewing habits and viewing triggers.

"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,” he added.

Speaking about another key finding besides the growth of multi-language content, Kapoor said that a lot of AVOD content is being made in India today with an SVOD lens. "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 green-lighting 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,” he said.