While the growth of digital was eminent, the pandemic has further accelerated the growth of OTT players, says Gautam Talwar, CCO, MX Player. He says while television is the bigger medium and a lot of money is there, the moolah is now shifting towards digital much faster as the pandemic has accelerated its growth.
“A lot more people are experimenting with digital. It's a very simple analysis, more the consumers, the faster the advertising money will flow into digital. I think the shift is imminent, we just have to figure out by when and how much. The pandemic has definitely helped that and pushed it to a very serious pace. The number of people that are actually accessing their entertainment needs through the digital platforms has increased massively,” he said.
Talking about the platform’s ad response and the new series Aashram, he said, “MX being 100% AVOD offers brands to leverage all our premium content to engage with users, unlike other OTT platforms that have originals behind a paywall. All MX Originals have driven advertiser interest and given that we cater to a large audience base of 200 Mn MAUs, brands across categories are compelled to advertise with us. Aashram has crossed over 300MN+ streams as of date and the series has gone viral, finding appreciation across varied age groups. It has also opened up new audiences for us, which is further proving to be attractive for brands to advertise with us,” he added.
Talwar says the new series has performed exceedingly well across different matrices and the audience has accepted it in a massive way. “It probably would be one of the most-watched series in this country. I can very easily say that it is reaching about 300 million streams in less than a month's time. There's a massive growth in terms of the number of users that have come out to the platform to actually sample Aashram. If you look at other matrices, like watch time, has completely blown out of proportion for us, way beyond our expectation. We are totally overwhelmed with the response in terms of the number of visits. The retention has also grown and in certain pockets completely exploded by more than 130-135%,” he added.
Speaking about the content line-up for the upcoming period, he said a new show called High will be rolled out on October 7, which is a crime drama. He said Season 2 of Aashram will be rolled out very soon and two more shows are under post-production. He said between the acquired and original series, they have released 27 shows during the last 28 weeks to keep the audiences entertained through the period.
“We are constantly learning from everything we put out there. We understand what a consumer needs, we understand what they're looking for, and we constantly mind these insights for making sure that we can fine-tune this content to this large set of audiences that we already have on an MX Player,” he added.
Talwar said despite the Covid situation, they rolled out a 360-degree campaign for the show that gave good results. “With Aashram, we kind of explored all mediums and did a 360-degree campaign, including television, print, social media, PR and outdoor and radio. The value that we got out of it was far better than the price we paid for it. So I think that's why the experiment has been a success,” he added.
Talwar said in the past two years, they have witnessed many milestones in terms of numbers, revenues, and marketing and they are now getting higher on all the counts.