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Shemaroo Entertainment starts OTT journey banking on its popular titles

The platform is working on a freemium model for now

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MUMBAI: Content powerhouse Shemaroo Entertainment has taken the OTT dive. The new platform ShemarooMe will have seven distinct categories on offer - Bollywood Classic, Bollywood Plus, Gujarati, Kids, Bhakti, Ibaadat and Punjabi. Rather than focusing on the rat race, Shemaroo perceives the new journey as a “marathon”. The company does not want to overspend or lay a hand on every genre.

The new OTT platform also provides consumers with the freedom to pick and choose the categories of content and pay for them separately. Individual category plans cost Rs 49 per month and Rs 499 per year while the all-access plan costs Rs 99 per month and Rs 999 per year. However, the platform will work on the freemium model.

While Shemaroo Entertainment has produced a number of popular Bollywood movies, the company won’t house every title on the new platform. Talking to Indiantelevision.com, Shemaroo Entertainment CEO Hiren Gada said that the titles which don’t fit with the segmentation or serve consumer needs will not be added to the platform.

Gada said the platform now has access to overall about 2000 films and 1000+ hours of non-film content. Going forward, the content library will be refreshed every week. He also added that the first three months of refresh line up is already in place but the new entrant has no plan to jump on the web-series bandwagon like other OTT platforms.

“We want to be true to these segments. We neither want to confuse the customers nor shift focus on our efforts and resources. I will rather strengthen the categories I am serving than doing something which is unlike me,” Gada added.

A mass media campaign will be rolled out across print, television, radio, outdoor for promoting ShemarooMe. Apart from that, digital dominates the marketing plan heavily.

“Today we have so many users on our digital platforms who are relevant target audience. Someone who is using Filmygane, or any other Shemaroo YouTube channel, is a natural audience for us. So focus will be on how to inform them, invite them and help them transit from there to here. We don’t know how many of them will transit and at what pace that will happen. That’s too new for us,” he commented.

While there are over 35 OTT platforms in the country, differentiating the new product to attract more consumers is definitely a challenge. Gada said that there is a large fan base that will consume content if it is familiar territory. According to him, there are people looking for new content and an equal amount looking for familiar content. He added that the ability to provide consumers with familiar content is one of the most important propositions of ShemarooMe.

Gada said that the whole business model of the OTT platform has been developed in way so that it does not put pressure on Shemaroo Entertainment’s overall expenditure. He also said consumer feedback will play a very important role in course correction leading to addition and removal of certain content.

“Through ShemarooMe, we wish to pamper Indians with great content that can be watched over and over again. Great content needs greater technology. Our content is offered on a state-of-the-art, robust platform, with a roadmap of features to woo our audiences. From live to linear to VOD content, we have all forms of consumption options available. We will be expanding our OTT distribution through strategic partnerships to offer exciting content across multiple platforms catering to the target audience and we do hope this is cherished by our audiences who have supported us for over 55 years,” Shemaroo Entertainment Digital COO Zubin Dubash commented.

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