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There is a gender shift in content consumption, says Mukesh Anand of Hip Hip HERray

Mukesh Anand, Founder of the newly launched digital content studio ‘Hip Hip HERray, says they will focus on content developed by women content creators and provide gender-agnostic content. Anand also talks to about his vision for the company and the changing dynamics of the industry

A gender shift is happening in content consumption and women are still an untapped audience, says Mukesh Anand, Founder and Chief Content Officer of Hip Hip HERray, a newly launched digital content studio.

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“If you look at Hotstar India’s watch report of 2019, it says that women are making up to 45% of total entertainment consumption online. There is a gender shift and this is why we feel it's an untapped audience,” he said.

Anand, who was earlier the Show Commissioning Editor (VP) at Star India, also spoke about his vision for his new venture. “We want to change the economics of the entertainment business, by tapping into the talent of women content creators, thereby bringing an untold world to the forefront while creating wealth and value for everyone,” he said.

Anand warned that it is important for the OTT space to look at fresh approaches in terms of content, “There will be 40-50 million paying subscribers in India by 2023. The online streaming market is set to touch five billion dollars in three years. Only when women creators are given a chance, then a fresh perspective and outlook will come into the stories. Unless and until women writers come with their perspectives and gaze, how are you going to serve 40-50 million subscribers by 2023?” he said.

The digital content studio would also focus on producing regional content. “Apart from mainstream Hindi, there would be five or six languages we would focus on, mainly Tamil, Telugu, Bangla and Marathi. Research tells us that these are the languages in which OTT content is consumed the most,” Anand said. 

Talking about what kind of content the company will tap, Anand said they would initially focus on the long and short form of digital content.  "Our focus area is short and long-form episodic web series and docu-dramas," he said.

He also said they are open to creating branded content if it fits the story. He gave the example of the 2001 BMW campaign where BMW decided to take its $30 million advertising budget and spent it on producing five ‘mini’ feature films working with luminary directors and producers, such as Ang Lee, Guy Richie, John Woo, Ridley and Tony Scott.  “We don’t mind if there is a natural fit. BMW has done it successfully in the past.  But it won’t be the sole purpose,” he said.

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