After a Bangla OTT, now a video streaming platform for exclusive Marathi content. Filmmaker and producer Akshay Bardapurkar along with actor Pushkar Shrotri and music composer Aditya Oak is all set to launch Planet Marathi OTT in December.
Planet Marathi OTT will offer films, theatre, television shows, infotainment, educational content for kids, fiction, non-fiction and reality shows, among others.
The OTT will also stream content like karaoke songs, recipes, yoga, health, and live-fitness videos.
So far, the platform has 50,000 hours of Marathi content and Bardapurkar plans to double the total content available on the platform by the end of the year.
While Planet Marathi OTT is a subscription video-on-demand platform, the subscription plan is yet to finalised.
The OTT will be available on both iOS and Android globally.
But the question is, will a Marathi-only OTT platform find takers?
If we go by the latest report titled ‘India’s OTT Market Landscape Report 2020’ for many video streaming platforms, languages including Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali are most preferred.
This is because consumption of Marathi content is high and the Marathi audience base is huge which is why many existing OTT platforms have a strong library of Marathi content including SonyLiv, ShemarooMe, among others.
According to Bardapurkar, the overall population of Maharashtrians worldwide is roughly 30 crore. “In Maharashtra alone, there are 14 crore Maharashtrians. If this population can contribute to Hindi and other language content, they certainly can do it for their mother tongue,” he said.
Adding to this, experts say that Maharashtra as a market has multiple independent urban centres including Mumbai, Pune, Nashik.
Also, there is no denying that time spent on online video consumption is increasingly moving towards regional languages.
According to EY estimates, the share of regional language content should increase from 37 percent currently to 50 percent by 2025. This means the focus will be even more on regional languages.
But it is not just about entertaining viewers, for Bardapurkar it is also about giving more opportunity to Marathi filmmakers. Bardapurkar had recently launched his film AB Aani CD starring Amitabh Bachchan on Amazon Prime Video.
“Marathi films lack the edge in calculated box office releases. Planet Marathi aims to simplify this for talented filmmakers, who want to reach the global audience without worrying about consuming the budget on marketing the films rather than crafting it,” he said.