According to platform executives and industry analysts, the drive by video streaming platforms for regional language programming has not reduced viewership for Hindi, which continues to be the most popular language in the country as of now. In terms of overall viewership, including purchased films, online originals, and catch-up television, Hindi continues to have a 50% share, followed by other Indian languages with a 35% share and foreign material with a 15% share.

When just online originals are taken into account, the contribution of other languages decreases even more because most platforms are still experimenting with localized content. Executives predicted that as the market grows, the primary language spoken in the nation would continue to rise in volume.

“Hindi continues to be the most widely used language for content consumption. Many categories will develop in regional languages as the industry as a whole grows, but the volume will be led by the main language due to the size of the market it serves, according to Ferzad Palia, head of Voot Select, Voot Kids, and international business at Viacom18. Because of platform initiatives for dubbing and subtitling, a lot of material that was originally created in Hindi is also watched in other languages, Palia noted. While percentages vary amongst services, he added that for some, Hindi can account for as much as 60 to 65 percent of utilization.

The audience will be split about 50 percent Hindi, 35 percent other Indian languages combined, and 15 percent worldwide for all material, including theatrical movies and catch-up TV. A lot of this content is seen in dubbed versions in Indian languages. According to Shailesh Kapoor, CEO and founder of the media consulting firm Ormax, dubbing has enabled the consumption of cross-language content and will continue to be important in the years to come because audiences, particularly those who watch SVoD (subscription video-on-demand) content, are now completely accustomed to the concept of dubbed content.

The proportion of south and other languages to overall viewing, however, declines when it comes to original content created for OTT, as there are less web series in other Indian languages than Hindi. According to Vibhu Agarwal, CEO and creator of video streaming startup Ullu, not all hope is gone for Hindi language programming. While certain southern films, like RRR and KGF: Chapter 2, have been huge successes, many others have failed.

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