OTT Bengali player Hoichoi wooing viewers in Bangladesh, Middle East; displays 20 new shows for 2022


Bengali OTT player hoichoi steps up presence in Bangladesh and Middle East through local telecommunications partnerships to further leverage the language’s 250 million viewers globally, even as competition intensifies in India .

Announcing its 2022 content list on Friday, the digital arm of well-known Bengali entertainment production company SVF said it has reached a merger agreement with Link3 and Grameenphone in Bangladesh.

Discussions are underway with more telecommunications companies in the region and the Middle East. “In the Middle East, we are taking a carrier billing approach because a large portion of the Bengali speaking public are migrant workers and do not have access to digital payments. We plan to offer them weekly flat rate plans, which they can pay for using their cell phone top-ups, ”hoichoi co-founder Vishnu Mohta said. Business today.

Read also: Zee-Sony OTT platform: an ideal match, according to experts

Similar efforts are also underway in Singapore and Malaysia, the company said. In India, its current partnerships include JioFibre, Airtel XStream, Alliance, Wishnet and Meghbela.

hoichoi, which has 20 new original shows scheduled for 2022, said it plans to double its investment in content. The press release says discussions are underway to organize a differentiated content mix for the US, UK, Australia and Canada, which contribute 30% of its overall direct subscription revenue.

Meanwhile, in India, hoichoi started selling its subscriptions offline at local stores in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Launched in 2017 as a subscription player, the platform has now announced a Freemium category, in which it will produce branded content. The platform also plans to dub its original content, which is already available in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam as well.

Also Read: Amazon Launches Prime Video Channels In India, Brings 8 OTT Apps Under One Roof

hoichoi’s measures are similar to what other regional players such as the Telugu OTT aha platform and the Gujarati peer OHO are currently doing to consolidate revenues. The two platforms told Business Today about their branded content collaborations, plans to syndicate original dubbed content into other languages, and plans to offer subscriptions through retail channels. OHO also plans to appeal to the Gujarati diaspora through in-person community outreach programs.

While the Indian market of 1.3 billion people with speakers of different languages ​​offers a wide scope for regional OTT players, both niche and newer OTTs face the challenge of acquiring new customers and high marketing spending in their split budgets compared to Netflix, Amazon. Prime Video, Disney + Hotstar, SonyLiv and Zee5 which have an advantage over the former.

Also Read: Amazon Prime Video Partners With Eight OTT To Become A Super App

The hotly contested OTT space is already seeing some consolidation, with two leading media companies, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) proposing a merger of their businesses, including their OTT platforms. The deal, if done, will likely create the second local OTT player in India after Disney + Hotstar, which will offer everything from sports to regional programming.

Amazon Prime Video also announced on Friday that it is partnering with eight other subscription OTT video streaming players, including hoichoi, with the goal of becoming a super app.

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