There is an entire world out there crowded with social hangouts, marketplaces, food plazas, entertainment centres, and information that has Indians as its second largest population. And yet, 90 per cent of Indians don’t understand 99.9 per cent of it. That’s because this world is virtual and mostly in languages that aren’t theirs. This fact will hardly deter the 730 million Indians who are set to come online by 2021. Considering the potential of this whopping number — termed the ‘next Billion users’ by tech giants — apps, interfaces, websites and whole entertainment eco-systems are cropping up in Indian regional languages.
Experts project that the change will be so tremendous that nine out of ten Indian netizens will talk, shop, read, and be entertained in their local languages. In fact, 234 million Indian-language internet users have already exceeded 175 million English internet users, signalling this change. In India, second to Hindi will be the Marathi-speaking audience, estimated to be 70 million worldwide and about a third in Maharashtra itself.
Recognising the scale of this viewership, Planet Marathi is dedicated to the language and lets subscribers interact, discuss culture, follow news and watch films and other entertainment formats.
The website has a dedicated line-up of entertainment formats such as a celebrity talk show called Lai Bhaari hosted by Amit Bhandari, a chat show titled, Manja Bole helmed by film personality Mahesh Manjrekar, political analyst and writer Raju Parulekar’s #Faces, and Bhannat that reviews Marathi films by film critic Ganesh Matkari. By featuring guests from the field of politics, business and entertainment such as the music composer duo Ajay-Atul, singer and lyrics writer Swanand Kirkire, actresses Sai Tamhankar and Amruta Khanvilkar, members of parliament Dr. Subramanian Swamy and Sanjay Raut.
Besides engaging content, its popularity has soared because of its innovative approach towards content. The website has marked itself as a marquee regional content generator by live-streaming exclusive footage of Ganpati Puja from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s residence along with the 10-day festivities of Lalbagcha Raja and the second national cyber psychology conference 2018.
Planet Marathi aims to bring regional content to 80 million strong Marathi speaking audience across the world. The website’s content ranges from popular culture to topics such as news, history and tourism – crafted with relevance to the community. On the vision of the portal, its founder, Akshay Bardapurkar says “we want to create a stage which will not only showcase celebrities, but also entrepreneurs, achievers and other stories that will inspire and connect people.”
The next three years will see an evolution of content and diverse approaches to hopefully make the Indian internet a more inclusive space. Apart from populating the portal will richer content, Planet Marathi aims to reach out to its followers on ground as well. In fact, readers can looks forward to events such as the Planet Marathi Conclave in association with the Government of Maharashtra, digital awards and many more community centred events and initiatives. Discover more at planetmarathi.org
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Planet Marathi and not by the Scroll editorial team