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Eros Now leverages content to create a new culture for viewers

The OTT platform recently reached over 100 million users and 7.9 million paying subscribers

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MUMBAI: Amid a cluttered over-the-top (OTT) space in India, Eros Now always faced less challenge than other players to differentiate itself. With Eros International’s deep-rooted history in the film industry, the digital arm played with a specialised strategy since the beginning. While the subscription-based business model in the Indian OTT market is still nascent, the company has always prioritised SVOD model. However, riding the waves of change, the company is also updating content strategy, even working on something very interesting from its business model perspective.

Recently, the leading OTT platform reached over 100 million registered users and 7.9 million paying subscribers worldwide with a 58 per cent quarter-on-quarter growth. Speaking to Indiantelevision.com, Eros Digital COO Ali Hussein discussed the factors that fuelled the growth along with what will be the content strategy going forward.

Talking about the significant surge in terms of paid subscribers, Hussein mentioned the combination of efforts including programming, marketing strategy, enhanced relations with telco partners and marketing alliance partners as key contributors to the customer uptake. The new movies added to the catalogue, as well as refurbishing content helped to develop a consistency from the programming perspective. Active marketing both at the digital level and brand level also played a key role.

While the OTT platforms keep adding subscribers, high churn rates are challenging for subscription video businesses. “Essentially we learnt from data that there are two kinds of significant components. One is the larger users experience on the product side and second is in terms of being able to kind of refurbish content. So, I think the combination of two efforts from the consistency of programming leads to a larger subscriber affinity and two is, in terms of being able to ensure that we are able to create a user experience at the core,” he says.

“Then there are certain other remarketing strategies we establish in terms of being able to cluster our audience better and ensuring that we get a month-on-month growth," he added.

Though, since its launch, the OTT platform has been hailed for its rich movie library and currently is also working on the movie catalogue, the company is not willing to entirely depend on it.

However, despite originals being an important part of programming strategy, he does not believe in gambling all the money for it. The team is working on short-form content ideas also as a part of the overall content strategy.

In late April, Eros Now premiered its first direct-to-digital film Meri Nimmo kicking off a new trend of distribution as well as adding a new dimension to its content strategy. Viewers have responded well to the film. Moreover, it has helped to attract new users to the platform.

“From a qualitative point of view, it was a very good thing. Something that we will do going forward also in terms of looking at digital original film as a key part of content strategy,” he said.

The success of the first initiative in the genre has helped the company to fix focus on such projects. Currently, it is looking at multiple projects that will be released direct on digital.

Very recently, Eros Now launched a new brand campaign titled ‘Bolo kya dekhogey’. It claims that the quality of organic users coming on the platform has gone up drastically after the launch of the campaign. Usually, many players go to third-party digital agencies for marketing campaigns but Eros Now relied on in-house creativity.

“We are also a production house first; we develop a lot of creative ideas. So, people who worked on the quality movies over the years should be able to come up with good creative ideas itself to market around products. Historically, we have been the one marketing our movies also,” Hussein explains.

Since the beginning of this year, from appointing some new key executives including Hussein to launching new brand campaign, expanding content library, extensive marketing, the first half has been momentous for the streaming platform. The company is heading in a direction to reach about 12-15 million paid subscribers in next 12 months on the back of such focussed strategies. 

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