In comparison, KFI's annual revenues are between Rs 200 - Rs 250 crores.
Since people who speak / understand a language watch the respective language films, there is a direct correlation between the number of people who speak / understand a language and the corresponding language film industry revenues.
Number of Telugu, Tamil and Kannada speaking people is 9, 7 and 5 crores respectively. Going by these numbers, Kannada film industry should have had a turnover of atleast Rs 500-600 crores. But why is the current turnover of KFI only 35-40 % of the potential market?
Fault lies with the Kannada Film Industry. KFI has never understood the potential market for Kannada movies and therefore have had no programmes to harness the potential market.
Here are a few suggestions that could go some way in realising the potential market for Kannada films:
- Encourage more Kannadigas to watch Kannada movies. This would result in an increase in the number of Kannadigas (inside Karnataka) watching Kannada movies.
- Today KFI's turnover is Rs 200 crores. (Back-of-the-envelope calculation : At present, about 1 crore Kannadigas watch 4 movies per year at Rs 50 per ticket entry. If this could be increased to 2 crore Kannadigas watching 4 movies per year at Rs 50 per ticket entry, turnover will increase to Rs 400 crores)
- Today, very few non-Kannadigas in Karnataka watch Kannada movies. If we could have 25% (25 lakhs) of the total non-Kannadiga population in Karnataka watch 3 movies per year at Rs 50 per ticket entry, additional turnover becomes Rs 35-40 crores.
- Today, very few Kannadigas outside Karnataka get to watch Kannada movies. If we could have 25% (25 lakhs) of Kannadiga population outside Karnataka watch 3 movies per year at Rs 100 per ticket entry, additional turnover becomes Rs 75 crores.
- These 3 revenue streams would all add upto Rs 500 crores which is more than double the current annual revenue of KFI.
What needs to be done to make this happen?
Few actionables for KFI:
- Produce quality movies
- Increase no of theaters that screen Kannada movies (within Karnataka)
- Promote / Market Kannada movies in a big way - use all available channels / avenues to promote / market Kannada movies
- Promote / Market Kannada movies among non-Kannadigas in Karnataka and among non-resident Kannadigas
- Distribute Kannada movies outside Karnataka
- KFI: Run it like an industry. professionalize, professionalize & professionalize
Few actionables for Kannada organizatons:
- Create a sense of Kannada identity in Kannadigas.
- Create awareness among non-Kannadigas in Karnataka that they need to learn Kannada and become a part of Karnataka mainstream.
If only KFI and the Kannada organizations work together on this initiative for the next 5 years, there is no reason why we not only harness the potential market for Kannada films but also expand the market.
Getting entertainment in one's own language is extremely important part of one's identity. We have seen the problems a linguistic community faces when the major source of entertainment of that linguistic community is another language. For example, Marathi. In spite of being 8 crore strong, Marathis have allowed Hindi film industry to dominate their own Marathi film industry. One of the reasons why the Marathis face a serious identity crisis today is because of this. Since Marathis learn Hindi through Hindi films, they end up conversing with Hindi speaking people (who migrate to Maharashtra) in Hindi. And Hindi speaking people migrating to Maharashtra never learn Marathi.
Any lessons to learn, Kannadigas???