From National to Global – The Need for Subtitling Indian Content in 2024 

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From National to Global - The Need for Subtitling Indian Content in 2024

When the Indian movie Dangal was released in 2016, little did people know that it would be a crossover hit, particularly in China. The movie earned 1300 crore in China, more than half its box office earnings. Two major reasons that contributed to its success were the dubbing of the movie in Chinese and the incorporation of English subtitles.

The 1990s was the era of satellite television. It revolutionized the way India consumed television content. However, the real disruption came with OTT platforms.  Today OTT platforms are the dominant force in content production, surpassing established broadcasting mediums such as DTH and cable. They have gained immense popularity globally given the convenience and variety they offer.

India has a staggering 48.1 crore OTT users and 10.2 crore users have an active paid subscription. By the end of 2024, the revenue generated by the OTT market in India is expected to reach 4,144 million U.S. dollars. Subtitles have played a big role in OTT success. The show Sacred Games for example was dubbed in 4 languages but was subtitled in 24 languages, making its way to regional audiences of India. 

For Indian content to go global, first we have to make it accessible to our regional audiences. Language experts need to work in tandem with AI technology to create subtitles with accurate translations from the video’s source language to the audience’s native language. As globalization continues to connect people across the globe, the demand for multilingual subtitles is at its peak. 

Major multinational OTTs are not the only players in India. Let’s take a look at the Indian content in regional OTT platforms.

The Rise of Regional OTT Platforms

Beyond the mainstream global OTT platforms, regional OTT platforms are playing a crucial role in promoting local languages and cultures across India. Bengali OTT platform Hoichoi added multilingual subtitles to their Bengali content leading to a 30% hike in subscriptions by the end of 2023. Other than Hoichoi, 2023 saw many different OTT platforms mushrooming in regional markets such as Maharashtra (Planet Marathi), Gujarat (City Short TV), Kerala (Koode), and Telangana (Aha). Indian viewers love regional content and the Indian OTT platforms are catering to their tastes and preferences. 

One big reason for the increase in the need for regional OTT platforms is the internet revolution which has been sweeping tier 2 and tier 3 cities. According to a joint report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar, the start of 2023 saw 759 million active Internet users, of which 399 million were from rural India. The combination of internet and smartphone penetration in India has been massive with the I&B Industry declaring the country has more than 600 million smartphone users

All these stats and numbers point to the immediate need for multilingual subtitles to increase the reach of regional content to different parts of the country. Indian content in regional languages is hidden away from people who don’t speak that particular language. Multilingual subtitles in all 22 official Indian languages will help businesses add textual translation in video content for audiences who speak different languages. The use of subtitles in Indian languages goes beyond any movies or TV shows. Multilingual subtitles will help you spread your video content such as corporate and marketing videos, webinars, training videos, interviews, podcasts, and various engaging video content in different domains and markets across India. 

But what about the need for subtitles for Indian content on a global scale? Let’s dig deeper into this scenario and unravel the demand for subtitling of Indian content worldwide. 

Indian Content Gets Global Boost 

The Indian media and entertainment industry is making waves across the globe. A big milestone came in 2020 when Delhi Crime, a TV show from India won the International Emmy Awards in the best drama series. Fast forward to 2023 –  Indian movies like RRR, Jawan, and The Elephant Whisperers achieved unprecedented success globally. Sarabha the first Punjabi movie with English subtitles, opened in a record 55 theatres across the United States. 

Moving away from the entertainment world, the United States and China have been important trading partners with India for over a decade. From 2013-18 and again in 2020-21, China was India’s top trading partner. The United States took the mantle in the fiscal year 2023 with the bilateral trade between the two countries amounting to 128.55 billion U.S. dollars. The business relationships with China and the United States will only get stronger in the coming years and language will play an important role in creating business ties.

English and Hindi are among the top most spoken languages in the world currently. Translation services and subtitling will see major growth in keeping a continuous relationship with businesses across the world. Hindi and English subtitles for business requirements will be crucial in securing international business relationships in the coming years. 

Get Unmatched Subtitling Quality With Reverie’s Language Experts

With professional translators, language experts, and AI-powered translation API, Reverie provides accurate subtitles in 22 official Indian languages and caters to 11 plus industries. 

Whether you are an enterprise, start-up, or part of a government agency, we take care of your translation and subtitling needs across different Indian domains and markets.

Increase your ROI using our AI-driven translation solutions by translating from one Indian language to another so that non-native speakers can comprehend and enjoy your content.  While transcribing the video or translating is work half done, we also embed the subtitles accurately to the video so that your customers can comprehend, engage, and enjoy your content.
Contact us right away to jumpstart your video marketing efforts and elevate your reach across all channels and borders.

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Reverie Language Technologies Limited, a leader in Indian language localisation and user engagement technology solutions for over a decade, is working towards a vision to create Language Equality on the Internet.

Reverie’s language practice is dedicated to helping clients future-proof their rapidly expanding content by combining cutting-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Neural Machine Translation (NMT) with best-practice approaches for optimizing content and business processes.

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