Creative First is delighted to present an interaction between Kranti Gada, the COO of Shemaroo, and Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Copyright & Digital Economy, MPA India. Kranti has many accolades and awards to her name, including Business World’s Disrupt 40 under 40, and one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Indian Media, Marketing & Advertising in 2019.
Three years ago, Shemaroo made a strong push towards being a B2C brand with the launch of its platform, ShemarooMe. Kranti acknowledged that the company’s own platform isn’t the only piece of the digital puzzle. Shemaroo also considers YouTube as a serious draw for viewership. Multiple channels garner upwards of 100 crore views per day. Old Hindi songs have been one of Shemaroo’s keys to success on YouTube. She further said that a large part of ShemarooMe’s strategy is to target regional language markets. They saw a great opportunity in Gujarati content. Customers who sign up for the Gujarati pack are offered at least one new piece of content per week. This could be a new film, series or play, which is a popular format in the Gujarati community.
When it comes to tapping a regional language market, Kranti affirms that it is about more than just acquiring content and putting it out there. “You have to be a local player in that ecosystem,” she says. Only then, can you really succeed. ShemarooMe’s Gujarati content has done surprisingly well in the United States.
In the recently released Frontier Economic Report, Kranti sheds some more light on how Shemaroo expects the scales to tip in favour of digital in the coming few years. As shared in the report, Shemaroo currently sees 52% revenues being generated from traditional content and 48% from digital. Going forward, when looking at the complete digital landscape – to include YouTube as well as ShemarooMe, Kranti expects the split to stay similar and fairly even. The reason for this largely being that while Shemaroo is definitely focused on digital it continues to extend it’s traditional footprint. They have recently entered the broadcasting space with the launch of Shemaroo TV and Shemaroo Marathibana where they are seeing healthy growth. Traditional would continue to be a segway into the digital landscape and a contributor to brand growth that would result in customer acquisition on their digital platforms.
Kranti highlighted that the government’s “light touch” regulations have contributed to the growth of online curated content platforms (OCC),[ Source: Frontier Economic Report] but the recent RBI guidelines on recurring payments and the tokenisation rule will present challenges for the industry in the short term. She hopes that the industry and government can work together to address such issues in 2022. Another challenge turned opportunity that Kranti foresees arising in the future is whether a consumer is likely to pay for multiple OCC platforms. She points out that broadcasting has 800+ channels, but aggregators package and streamline the experience. On the impact of OCC platforms on cinema, Kranti believes that cinemas complement OTT platforms because when a film goes to the cinema it creates a bigger buzz which helps the platform. “Everyone doesn’t catch every film at the cinema. So, people will watch them at home,” she asserts. Further, the cinema – going experience helps boost repeat viewing.
As Shemaroo turns 60 during Diwali 2022, their focus will be to continue building a solid B2C brand that lives up to its legacy as one of the oldest, most trusted media houses.
For more detailed insights, watch the full video.