News as it is -

Best Media Info

Partner Content

OTT platform Aha forays into Metaverse with 'Ahaverse'; aims to target tech-savvy youngsters

Ahaverse, which is set to launch in the middle of March, will give brands an opportunity to own the show sets and create product and experience centres, offering them more ways to interact with consumers

OTT platform Aha is all set to foray into the metaverse with the launch of 'Ahaverse' – which as per them is directed towards the younger generation who are exposed to newer forms of technology.

The platform is planning to offer a group viewing experience through Avatars, options to visit sets of shows like Telugu Indian Idol and Unstoppable. Moreover, people will also have the option to interact with the contestants on their shows.

Ahaverse, which is set to launch in March, will give brands an opportunity to own the show sets and create product and experience centres, offering them more ways to interact with consumers. 

Kartheek Kanumuru

In an exclusive conversation with, Kartheek Kanumuru, Head of Marketing at Arha Media and Broadcasting and Nitin Burman, Head-Non-Subscription Revenue, Arha Media and Broadcasting spoke about the multiple possibilities for the people as well as the advertisers in the Ahaverse. 

Ahaverse will have a film city-like structure with multiple sets of shows

Nitin Burman

“At Aha, the culture we have inculcated is that we want to try new things and for that, we have a new initiative department as well. In the field of digital, today you must be innovative in order to stay relevant. That's the practice that we follow and Ahaverse was something that we have been discussing for quite a long time that Metaverse is the next big thing where the youth want to be. There have been people who have done concerts in Metaverse. So, we thought, why not create Ahaverse and take people to the virtual world of Aha?” Burman said.

Explaining the look of Ahaverse, Burman went on to say that the structure is like a big film city where multiple sets of various shows, which are there on Aha, have been erected. 

“It will have a set of Telugu Indian Idol. Moreover, there are other upcoming shows for which we will keep constructing sets at Ahaverse. That is how each and every individual who enters will be able to experience virtually how the whole production of a particular show takes place and how the look and feel of a set is,” he stated. 

"VR won't be a compulsion for Ahaverse, it will be available on mobile apps as well," Burman said. 

Hyderabad-based IPVerse is the technology partner that will be developing the entire Ahaverse.

Kanumuru said that Aha has always tried to do something new on a regular basis - like being the first OTT platform having 100% regional content, and putting out the highest number of original content in Telugu.  

“We had also done a very popular show like 'Unstoppable'. So, we were looking at something which is technologically forward, that is when the concept of 'Ahaverse' came up. It is a very critical innovation that we are planning to put out there. We are also planning to take it up in the middle of this month (March), probably along with the main gala episode of the Indian Idol, which would be the fifth episode of the show,” he added. 

Kanumuru further spoke about what the platform is trying to attain by foraying into the Metaverse.

He said, “When we started out, we had a very huge response for the Aha platform itself from across the sectors, be it younger generation or families. The more shows we put out; we have seen families also embracing the platform very closely so almost all the Telugu population is quite aware of Aha. Our next step is to add some equity to the brand - especially among the younger population where they are exposed to newer forms of technology. We believe that Ahaverse is directed to the younger generation, say people in the 15–25-year age group, who are technically a bit savvier.”

“It should add more heft to the brand as a new-age innovator who is kind of ahead of time. We want to be ahead of even global brands by trying something new,” he added. 

Multiple possibilities for brands to showcase their products 

There will be certain opportunities for advertisers as well, like each of these sets constructed at Ahaverse can be owned by brands that want to be there. Secondly, brands will also have the option to construct any of their relevant product or experience centres in the verse. For example, if a brand wants to have its products in the experience centre, and show what they look like, that will be a possibility at the Ahaverse.

Kanumuru said, “Just like a lot of automobile brands who want to get on the Metaverse because the look and feel of the products are really critical for them, we are seeing that as a great opportunity for a lot of brands who want to partner with us on the Metaverse. They will also get more ways to interact with the consumers on the platform.”

“Metaverse has been most regularly used as a promotional activity or a one-time event. But we are building Ahaverse for a longer term. You will have content coming throughout. Just like we have YouTube, Facebook and Instagram handles, we will also have a Metaverse handle in this form where you will get continuous updates of the shows and people will be able to access some content which is there on Aha. I don't think there is any OTT who is doing this beyond just a promotion. One of the problems with Metaverse is also that it has always been built as a one-time promotional activity, but for us, it is equivalent to another form of social networking in almost a virtual format,” Kanumuru said.

“The way we are looking at it is that we can have group viewing experience there through avatars for all our shows. We are looking forward to such things in the future,” he added. 

Burman stated, “We are not just the first regional OTT platform but the first OTT platform in the world to have a full verse activation and not just a one-off activation on the Metaverse. We are prepared to face unknown possibilities and problems coming onto our doorstep.” 

“We have a technology partner who is developing the Ahaverse and we are providing the content for that platform. So, it’s a partnership. The revenues will be from the subscriptions to the verse, tickets that people will buy and the brand revenues,” he stated.

Speaking about the challenges while working on this project, Kanumuru said that one of the challenges was to typically find a technology partner and also to make this a little easier to access and not too complicated. 

“So, we will be pushing investments in the marketing side also to make people adapt to this. We will be building this strongly through our marketing campaigns,” he added.

Entry to Ahaverse will be free, few premium features to be ticketed

“As of now, we will have a separate subscription base for Ahaverse. We still do not know whether we want to go only with brand revenue or have certain things which will be ticketed. So, it's going to be free entry for everyone. But then as you play a virtual game to access something which is a little more premium then you'll have to pay for those entries,” Burman stated. 

Furthermore, he went on to say that people will be able to create their avatars, click photos with the actors and have live interactions with them, so these options will become ticketed.

Burman said that at Ahaverse there will be immense possibilities for people to experience.

“As we start with Indian Idol, we will develop interactions with the contestants, then our chat show is going to be launched where we will have a section for people to be able to ask questions from the celebrity guests on the chat show. For us also it will be on-the-job learning. We want to increase fan engagement,” he added. 

Furthermore, he said, “Currently we will be foraying into non-fiction shows with a possibility for the viewers to experience the production of the shows or movies on the Ahaverse, once we are there we will also foray into fiction shows.” 

Burman also added that the biggest USP of being into the virtual world is that people can now shift from just watching a show to getting inside that show. 

“Imagine yourself roaming on the set where the three judges of Indian Idol are sitting, that possibility of getting immersed is the USP. The second thing we want to do is make it possible for the people to interact with the celebrity icons,” he stated.

Post a Comment