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Indian brands are still discovering the true power of digital video

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MUMBAI: While social media is an important ingredient of the digital mix of most Indian brands today, many aspects like video are nowhere close to realising their fullest potential.

Indiantelevision.com speaks to Famebox Network director Dhruvank Vaidya about this, the increasing popularity of original web content, and the latest reality show ‘Beauty and the Blogger’ that the company is working on.

How far has video on social media evolved?

It started with professional content (film and TV) being edited and uploaded on YouTube.  Lately, we are seeing high quality ‘made for the web’ content that is garnering a lot of viewership. More recently, Famebox is breaking new ground with its web reality shows. Thus, innovations in programming formats are drawing newer audiences and advertisers to this medium.

What are the key elements in making videos shareable on social media?

The most important is element of surprise.  If you see something unexpected in the video, you are more likely to share it.  Of course, what gets shared on Facebook is very different from what users on WhatsApp choose to share.

In your opinion, how are Indian brands using video in their digital media mix?

Indian brands are still discovering the true power of digital video. Most have been using their existing TVCs and uploading them.  Some create a video series (which again looks like a set of TV commercials) and upload it on their YouTube channel but that’s it.  What digital needs is engaging content and constant interactions with your target group. So, it is a lot more than just making videos and uploading them on your YouTube channel.  Having said this, some brands, especially in the fashion category, are using the medium very well.

Which are the brand categories that are betting high on videos on social media?

The categories which will benefit the most from digital videos are the ones whose target audience is not very easily available on TV.  Youth is a great example.  They are always on the web, checking social media, watching videos etc.  And brands need to create highly entertaining content to engage with them.  Fashion, lifestyle, consumer goods, phones/ telecom/ technology etc. are all doing a lot on this medium.

Are broadcasters (channels) collaborating with your network?

The biggest testimonial to the value that broadcasters see in networks like ours is the recent acquisition of Maker Studios by Disney for US$ 500 million.  Maker, as you know, is a digital video driven multi-channel network.

'Virality' is a term associated with videos on social media. What according to you makes a video go viral?

While there are several elements which contribute to making a video popular – content type, editing, how well it is distributed, how many likes/ comments/ shares it gets etc. there is no way to tell which of these will make the video go viral.

Which are the most popular video topics on web these days?

While comedy has been getting a lot of press, there is a lot of user-generated content on cooking, fashion, lifestyle, education etc.  Famebox is a pioneer in web reality shows and we have seen a lot of viewership for our show, WebChef.

Please tell us more about your latest web show 'Beauty and the Blogger'.

Fashion and beauty is a highly engaging category and has made a major impact on social media. ‘Beauty and the Blogger’ is built to leverage the high interactivity provided by social media and the excitement provided by a reality show.  The models bring in the glamour while the bloggers provide social media buzz.  This format truly leverages the power of the web and its ability to entertain as well as engage its audiences in real time.

The reality show will feature eight shortlisted fashion models and the country’s top bloggers who team up for a unique multi-round contest. The show will be initiated through a three-day ground event at an exclusive resort. While the teams will compete against each other, they will also be buzzing on social media in real time.  This is a first for Indian audiences where the on-ground action of a reality show is brought live to audiences via social media.  The event will then be uploaded on the FameBox fashion channel on YouTube and will be available to viewers at large to watch. The winners will be chosen basis their performance in the on-ground event and the social media buzz and influence that they generate.

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