A large majority of Indian video consumers prefer watching subtitled content to dubbed versions while viewing content in languages they cannot understand. According to a recently released YouGov survey, more than seven in ten people in India (72%) prefer watching content in languages other than the ones they speak or understand with subtitles.
The survey found that the preferences, while largely in favour of subtitles, differed rather widely between different regions. South India has the greatest preference for subtitled content amongst all regions at 82 per cent, while North and East India are twice more likely to prefer dubbed versions at 34 per cent and 33 per cent versus 16 per cent respectively.
While Hindi is the most spoken language in India, however, only a quarter (26%) of Hindi-speaking consumers want their content subtitled or dubbed in the same language. While most want it translated into English, among the English-speaking, a third or 34 per cent want translations in Hindi.
The highest demand for English translations comes from Kannada (88 per cent) and Telugu (86 per cent) speakers, the report said.
“India is an amalgamation of different languages. In order to win over this lucrative market, content creators need to localise as much as possible. Digital players have an especially great opportunity as a lot of content, both regional and western, is being consumed online. However, most of it is available in only few languages. A vast regional market still remains untapped. The data shows that there is an interest in seeking content in one’s native language and brands need to understand the needs and preferences of this set in order to expand their audience base,” said Deepa Bhatia, general manager, YouGov India.
More than half the people (55 per cent) watch foreign language content and a much higher proportion consumes regional content (84%). YouTube is the biggest platform for foreign content consumption, with three-quarter saying they watch international content on it.
OTT platforms such as Netflix and Amazon are the second biggest mediums to devour foreign content.