The TV fraternity in India sees a huge opportunity in regional languages. They agree it is the future. While explicitly the names of the languages haven’t been mentioned I am assuming the non-Hindi space in the language pie is mainly occupied by the four South Indian languages – Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil & Telugu. Other than these I think Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali are big.
The points that came out of the discussion panel were,
- Two years ago language meant just Hindi. Now, they see huge opportunities outside the Hindi space.
- The next battle for eyeballs will be in the regional TV space.
- The growth of the regional media is unstoppable. (Jai Ho!)
- The audience base in the four South Indian states has grown exponentially since 2005.
- Literacy levels in language speaking community has increased.
- Star increased its footprint by acquiring channels in Malayalam, Kannada & Telugu.
- South India is home to 45% of the cable and satellite homes in India.
- In the coming years, the balance will shift more to regional.
- Brands would do well if they used localized activation to spread their message (see the analogy of the same for internet)
- The regional segment is far more open to content integrations and branding opportunities.
- New viewers have been switching from English to language channels.
- Consumers talk to each other in their regional language, so the media too should speak in their language.
Usually we hear about Hindi media expanding to South, today we heard about Raj TV getting into Hindi (Hyd based ETV too is big in the North).
What can the internet fraternity learn from this experience? I believe there is a huge opportunity in the Indian language space. We at Oneindia.in have been doing that for a while now and are having the same observations as the TV medium – the growth will be & is being seen from non-English.