Last Updated: 11.29 AM, Jun 03, 2023
SonyLIV, the video streaming platform owned by Sony Pictures Networks India, will stream Malayalam film 2018, starting 7 June. It stars Tovino Thomas, Kunchako Boban, Asif Ali, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Aparna Balamurali, Kalaiyarasan, Indrans, Sudheesh, Gilu Joseph, Vinitha Koshy, Aju Varghese, Thanvi Ram, and Gauthami Nair. The survival thriller is based on actual events during the 2018 Kerala floods and has emerged as the highest grossing Malayalam film of all time since its theatrical release this May.
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 last year, 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 (on ZEE5, Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar), Karthikeya 2, Valimai and Bimbisara were watched the most and thrillers such as Vilangu and Recce have been well received along with comedies like Aha Naa Pellanta as well as Hello World. 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.