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Regional content start-up Matrubharti enters video streaming space

Diversifies from self-publishing of eBooks to curating stories in videos

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Matrubharti, a vernacular content start-up which has been providing a curated platform for content creators to publish ebooks and snackable social media content in regional languages such as Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi besides English, has today announced that it has diversified its content offerings by entering the video streaming space with the launch of Matrubharti Vishesh.

Matrubharti Vishesh is a premium, exclusive content section housed in the Matrubharti app and website for streaming of regional theatrical plays, short films, OpenMics (live poetry recitals and stand-up comedy) and literature festivals. Users can also gain first access to newly published books under this section.

Going Beyond Ebooks: Stories in Video Format

Matrubharti today has a community strength of over 7.5 lakh with active contributors in excess of 18,000. Since its inception in 2015, Matrubharti has helped authors publish 26,000 ebooks, which have been downloaded 7.5 Million times by 7 lakh readers. The platform also has over 2.5 lakh poems in text and image format across 4 languages.

Explaining his rationale behind Matrubharti’s entry into the video streaming space, Mahendra Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, Matrubharti said, “Videos are the most popular format of creative expression and OTT apps are riding this wave. We at Matrubharti wanted to target and engage more of India’s youth so that they can showcase their creativity on our platform, and also help them to connect with content in their mother tongue.  It was therefore the need of the hour for us to plug videos into our platform and earn more screen time from them.”

Matrubharti began experimenting with stories in short form video format since the beginning of this year with shows such as Morning Maza, Raat Ke Jazbat and curated stories under its Kahani Metro initiative which have an App Jockey (AJ) narrating the stories with a run time of  about 3-5 minutes.

The content library today has over 500 such short form video stories.

Content Sourcing: The Offline Way

While a significant number of videos on the platform are User Generated Content (UGC), the Ahmedabad based start-up has partnered with elite authors, poets, theatre groups to source exclusive content for its Vishesh segment. As part of its content sourcing strategy, it has forayed offline to forge event partnerships

“It helps us reach offline audiences, strengthens our community and post the event, we get a huge set of videos for our platform from the performers”, Sharma said.

The content library has more than 10,000 videos of poetry recitals from 50+ events and over 100 videos of regional theatrical plays, making it the only other platform other than Hotstar in India to stream plays.

Engagement, Monetization and Future Plans

The launch of Matrubharti Vishesh comes on the back of Matrubharti’s participation in US-based Gray Matters Capital’s digital accelerator program – GMC Calibrator.

“From a monetization standpoint, videos open up avenues for Matrubharti to partner with brands and making its freemium revenue model a viable one”, said Omkar Kulakrni, GMC Calibrator Program Head, Gray Matters Capital. He added, “Since March 2019, the engagement rate on the Matrubharti app has gone up by 15-20% post behavioural science interventions and increased emphasis on data driven decision making.”

“Matrubharti aspires to reach a user base of 1.8 million by adding content in 3 more regional languages – Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam by 2020. In 5 years, Matrubharti is aiming for a pan-India presence with content in 21 Indian languages, and users in excess of 10 Crore. We will be partnering with regional film production companies for web series and are aiming to become the Netflix of Bharat with our video content.”, signs off Sharma.

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