The Indian diaspora consumes a lot of regional language content, especially films, Singapore-based video-on-demand platform Spuul found in its research.
There was a high demand for Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam movies in 2017, according to the report, which is based on data compiled all through the 12 months last year. Punjabi movies were particularly popular in countries outside India, with Australia leading the list, followed by the United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Pakistan, and Canada.
The Punjabi movies that did well are Krazzy Tabbar, Yaar Anmulle, Sardar Saab, Dulha Bhatti, Vaisakhi List, Saade CM Saab, Gelo, Teshan, and Aatishbazi Ishq. The movies in which the Udta Punjab actor Diljit Dosanjh starred were also quite popular — Sardaar ji, Sardaarji 2, Jatt & Juliet, Jatt & Juliet 2, and Disco Singh.
Tamil movies had more ground and was the highest consumed content in the United States, followed by Singapore Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Malayalam movies were also watched a lot in the United States.
Spuul conducted the research with 40 million registered users in India, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and the UAE.
When it comes to the content of the movies, crime and thriller was the most popular genre, followed by family drama, romance, comedy and horror.
The report observed that 50 per cent of consumers of content come in the age group of 25-34 years, followed by 21 per cent between 34-44 years and 20 per cent between 18-24 years. Out of this, 80 per cent are male and 20 per cent are female.
Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Alia Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, and Kajol are the top five actresses in terms of popularity outside India, while the top three Punjabi actors popular abroad are Diljit Dosanjh, Neeru Bajwa, and Jimmy Shergill.
“We enjoy the patronage of the regional audience as they would want to consume movies in their preferred language. Hence, adding regional movies to our already vast Hindi catalogue was a natural progression,” Spuul CEO Subin Subaiah, who is a Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman, said in the report.
“Last year, we saw high demand for Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayali movies. This year we aim to make Bhojpuri, Marathi and Bengali movies accessible to all as we see it getting more popularity. Simultaneously, we are working towards upping the ante in terms of our technology to create a superior customer experience.” he said.
Spuul, which began in 2012, has a catalogue of 1,000 movies and over 10,000 hours of programming.
Regional markets are growing because a majority of the next 200 million internet users will consist of those who would like to watch content in their native language, Rajiv Vaidya, the chief executive officer of the movie-streaming service, earlier told Live Mint.