Last Updated: 10.33 AM, Feb 10, 2023
Disney+ Hotstar will stream Mallikapuram, a Malayalam-language action adventure drama, on 15 February. The film has been directed by Vishnu Sasi Shankar and stars Unni Mukundan, Deva Nandha and Sreepath in lead roles.
Video streaming platforms are likely to offer 50-60% of the budgets to southern language content, with these programmes seeing much traction, accounting for 30% of OTT viewership, said industry experts.
Films like RRR, Beast, and Jana Gana Mana were big hits on Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video saw high interest for its Tamil original Suzhal.
Producers and executives also said the other advantage is southern originals are easy to put together as talent costs are not as high as Hindi content. It is estimated that 50% of overall subscription growth in 2022 came from the five markets down south.
RRR, in fact, was the most popular film from India on Netflix globally.
Within its first four weeks on the service, the film was viewed for over 73 million hours across the world with more than two-thirds of viewing coming from outside India. Vijay-starrer Beast featured in the weekly Top 10 in 13 countries on Netflix while Telugu film Shyam Singha Roy trended on the India Top 10 row for films for 9 weeks and in the Global Top 10 row for films for two weeks in 11 countries such as Bahrain, Bangladesh, Oman, Qatar, among others. Apart from large, tentpole films, smaller southern titles have also broken out, with Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey, Love Today and Rorschach standing out as examples.
With north India, particularly the metros now starting to plateau as far as subscriber addition goes, streaming platforms are increasingly witnessing large portions of subscriber additions coming from the south. Opportunities lie in the fact that these markets have traditionally spent a lot of time on watching television, they like entertainment content and local competition is far from threatening.