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Report on Shemaroo

Hungama Digital focuses on storytelling & narrative

For better distribution, the platform will look at more partnerships

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MUMBAI: Jumping on the digital content bandwagon, digital entertainment company Hungama Digital Media announced four web series in the first half of this year. On the back of the encouraging response from its first two shows, it forayed into the regional content space recently. While “content is the king” has been hailed as the tagline in the ecosystem, Hungama Digital Media COO Siddhartha Roy also said storytelling and narrative have been the primary focus of the platform‘s content strategy.

Recently, the streaming platform launched its third original web series Bar Code. Roy said that it took them more than 1.5 years to ensure it was of high quality. To promote the show, Hungama will primarily leverage its own assets in digital media as well as YouTube. Along with that, interesting corporate communication, public relation and outdoor marketing will play an important role.

Before Bar Code, it released Damaged and Hankaar which got good consumer response. “The response has been encouraging and that’s the reason we went into the regional space. Between the two shows, we have done 48 million episodic views. It gives us a lot of strength to go out and build this space. So you will see a lot of it on the back of this great consumer acceptance,” Roy said.

Boys with Toys, another show which was announced earlier this year will be launched in the next two months. The first Marathi original show will also be launched soon. In addition to that, there are a number of new shows in store which are in the process of greenlighting or under production. More interestingly, with the first regional show, Hungama will also enter the brand integration territory. “We will not tell a story as we have a brand to work with but we will look at the story and will see if there’s an opportunity in that story to work with the brand,” he mentioned.

“Now we are reaching out to the target of 53 million users today and of that we have roughly about 32+ million users which consume video product. So, our intent is basically to go out to that audience.  “Along with a large Indian audience, we have a very large South Asian audience when it comes to outside India,” he said.

While he was asked if international players are putting more pressure on local players, he said Indian market is ever growing and the game is beyond “us versus them”. Consumers will flock towards the content they find interesting. It will be about who can tell a good story and build a community for that narrative.

“The ecosystem today has roughly 150-180 million consumers who are consuming video. I believe that will grow to 500 million over the next three years. More opportunity to come and much more consumers,” he commented.

The new player with an ambitious roadmap is waiting for FY 20 with exciting plans. Over time, it will invest more in the digital content space and for better distribution will look at more partnerships.

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