A new player is about to enter the Indian OTT arena and its time for Marathi folks to rejoice. Filmmaker and producer Akshay Bardapurkar of Planet Marathi along with actor Pushkar Shrotri and music composer Aditya Oak are all set to launch ‘Planet Marathi OTT’, India’s only platform that will curate Marathi content, exclusively for Marathi audience. India’s first Marathi video streaming platform will launch in December.

Planet Marathi OTT is a subscription video on demand platform (though the subscription plan is yet to be finalised) that will offer 50,000 hours of Marathi content. It will have binge-worthy films, theatre, television shows, infotainment, educational content for kids, fiction, non-fiction and reality shows, among other things. Planet Marathi OTT will stream more than just regular entertainment, including karaoke songs, recipes, yoga, health and live fitness videos.

The future of digital entertainment in the Marathi language looks bright with the launch of this OTT platform. Both IOS and Android users from around the world will now be able to experience Marathi entertainment. Also, Bardapurkar plans to double the total content available on the platform by the end of the year. Planet Marathi OTT’s tagline, ‘Ma Mancha, M Marathicha’ evokes a sense of pride.

The question that now arises 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 the reason why so many exciting platforms like SonyLIV, ShemarooMe and others have a significant amount of Marathi content since its consumption is high and the Marathi audience base is huge. Experts also say that Maharashtra as a market has multiple independent urban centres including Mumbai, Pune, Nashik.

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.

Reports have clearly shown 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 per cent currently to 50 per cent by 2025. This means the focus will be even more on regional languages. But for Bardapurkar this platform is more about providing opportunities to Marathi filmmakers than just viewer’s entertainment.

Talking about his dream project Akshay Bardapurkar, Producer, CMD, Planet Marathi Seller Services Pvt Ltd. states, “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 the consuming budget on marketing the films rather than crafting it. Planet Marathi’s overarching vision is to create an ecosystem where Marathi films, filmmakers, artists, technical teams, and most importantly the language thrives”.

Pushkar Shrotri, actor and CEO, Planet Marathi Seller Services Pvt Ltd, defines Planet Marathi OTT as a ‘new age entertainment’ solution. He also said, “We see a paradigm shift in the way content is being consumed today, the changing times are setting new archetypes in Marathi entertainment, OTT being at forefront of this movement. Marathi entertainment industry needed a call for action where an exclusive OTT is launched to cater to the entertainment needs of Marathi audience, Planet Marathi OTT will do exactly that!”.

“Planet Marathi honours the language, culture, and the spirit of Marathi! It gives us great honour to represent India’s one and only Marathi OTT. I am truly ecstatic to be a part of the team and we hope the audience will also love our offerings. It is a proud moment for me”, states Aditya Oak, music composer and COO at Planet Marathi Seller Services Pvt Ltd.