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Streaming success: The rise of regional OTT platforms in Kerala

KOCHI: There was a time not so long ago when OTT was unheard of for many us. Today, it’s a different story. From cities to small towns, OTTs have got people glued to the screens. If you think it’s the Gen Z who are gung-ho about OTT, you are wrong. People across all age groups are fascinated by this new avatar of television.

So, what is this hype around OTT! It gave masses the freedom they longed for. The freedom to watch whatever they want, whenever they want and wherever they want. During the pandemic and the lockdown that ensued, OTTs gained traction. They opened an opportunity for modern and experimental concepts. But soon, big players in the market started to give more time and space to big budget movies with a star cast. This turn in strategy was actually a boon to small regional OTT platforms, and created space for small budget films with locally-sourced content.

Koode, Neestream, Cave, Roots, SS Frames and Saina Play are some of the many video streaming platforms in Kerala. Movies that premiered on regional OTT platforms include The Great Indian Kitchen, with Suraj Venjaramoodu and Nimisha Sajayan in the lead roles, Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam, a single-shot Malayalam film featuring Rima Kallingal and Jitin Puthenchery, Parvathy Thiruvothu starrer Aarkkariyam, and Leena Manimekalai’s Maadathy. 

The roaring success of regional OTTs in Kerala also prompted the state government to jump the bandwagon. In May 2022, the Kerala Government announced launching of a state-owned OTT platform- ‘CSpace’. The platform will bring a wide array of films, short films and documentaries to the audience. The facility will be managed by the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KSFDC). The registration of films to be streamed on CSpace started on June 1st.

According to a report by FICCI-EY, regional OTT holds 40-45% share of the overall OTT pie in terms of consumption. The rising popularity of new regional platforms make one thing clear. The future is brighter for regional OTT content.

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