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Rainshine Entertainment backed Culture Machine outlines aggressive future growth strategy

Restructures company into two focussed businesses - CM Studios and Lightstream

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MUMBAI: Rainshine Entertainment, a leading entertainment company that creates diverse and iconic content for Indian and global audiences, announces the strategic expansion and restructuring of Culture Machine, a digital media company under its umbrella. Evolving and adapting itself to the new market of 2020, Culture Machine Media Pvt. Ltd., will be structured into two focussed businesses - CM Studios and Lightstream. With a strengthened management team and robust parentage of Rainshine, the company is well positioned to fortify its offering for audiences across the country.

The new organizations will be led by Anuraag Srivastava, Chief Operating Officer of Rainshine Entertainment. Additionally, Sameer Pitalwalla will transition from his current role as CEO of Culture Machine to an advisory role with Rainshine, and will oversee some of its existing long-format shows.

Commenting on this development, Neeraj Bhargava, Chairman & CEO, Rainshine Entertainment, said, “Culture Machine has been an iconic business and we’ve had a great run so far. It’s now time to accelerate and put the pedal to the metal. We have some of the most passionate and creative minds in the business, and with this new strategy in place, I’m excited about making Culture Machine, in its new avatar as CM Studios and Lightstream, even bigger and better.”

CM Studios and Lightstream will both have focused teams and priorities. Led by Culture Machine front runners, Ruchir Joshi and Russell Pinto, CM Studios will produce long form content and audio podcasts for streaming platforms, with an added focus on the young adult segment and genres like crime, thriller, and romance. The company has already partnered with multiple platforms like Amazon Prime, NBA, Eros Now, Dailyhunt etc., and has launched 6 shows with 5 more currently in production.

Meanwhile, Lightstream has been created to provide the services of Digital Content Marketing, Digital Campaigns and Digital Services to brands who are reaching out to the wide span of consumers in India. This division will be run by media veteran Cyrus Oshidar, who comes with a strong industry foothold, having helped build MTV India and 101India.com, and Bala Iyengar, who has over two decades of experience in the media industry and has been instrumental in co-authoring the journey of Helios Media. Joining them is Manisha Gulati, co-founder of 101India.com, who will continue to work closely with Cyrus, and Bala’s partner, Divya Radhakrishnan, who will lead business development across the public, government, and NGO sectors for Lightstream. The team will work with brands to create short form content and digital solutions, tailored to help them reach communities across the fragmented Indian landscape. Through Lightstream, data analytics, audience targeting, and consumer insights will come together to deliver the best brand stories told through content.

Divya will also work closely with the Rainshine team to develop an international distribution and syndication business.

Bhargava further added, “At Rainshine, we’re furiously innovating to incubate and launch businesses for the future, identifying latent needs, opportunities, and finding newer ways to tell the most compelling stories. As a team, we’re all extremely confident and optimistic about this new strategy and what lies ahead.”

“Culture Machine comes with years of legacy - it is one of the flag bearers of this digital entertainment boom that has gripped India. The re-generation of the two new organizations is an endeavour to build on its brand solutions acumen through Lightstream and storytelling prowess through CM Studios, and take these businesses to the next level. The next few years will see us further accelerate the growth trajectory of the company, and I'm excited to be leading this dynamic team of talented individuals,” said Anuraag Srivastava, COO, Rainshine Entertainment, who also has oversight of these new business units.

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