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Short video apps with a solid retention engine will survive: Ajit Varghese of Moj

In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Ajit Varghese, Chief Commercial Officer - ShareChat and Moj, talks about the growth and advertising response to Moj

Ajit Varghese

TikTok’s exit from India led to a boom of homegrown platforms in the country trying to make a mark in the very new short video market. According to a RedSeer report, titled 'The Rise of Made in India in Digital Content', Indian short form apps have been able to retain over 65-70% of TikTok users. As a result, the ad response has also been noticeable on these platforms.

However, as a number of platforms started to enter this space, the competition was cut-throat. As a result of this, we are now seeing many short video platforms entering the social and live commerce space in a bid to attract creators and monetise their content.

According to Ajit Varghese, Chief Commercial Officer - ShareChat and Moj, only those companies who have built a solid retention engine, which means they have a large percentage of users regularly using the app, will survive in the space.

“Constant innovation and product advancement are and will be the keys to ensure users and creators remain committed to the apps,” he added.

Varghese said that innovation can be topped with scale, which is why Moj recently announced a collaboration with Flipkart to enable video and Live Commerce experiences at scale. According to him, besides making e-commerce accessible to millions of first-time users, this collaboration will incentivise content creators in the Moj ecosystem by enabling new commerce-led revenue streams for them and change the whole scenario.

He also stated that the creator economy-led revenue streams are globally seeing a massive upsurge and this collaboration with Flipkart is a step towards developing a concrete revenue stream for creators in India, while also enhancing the social experience of users on the platform.

Varghese said that their efforts are now focused on a long-term strategy to strengthen the creator ecosystem and to equip them with the best tools to create highly engaging content, and at the same to also provide a repository of entertaining and relevant content choices for the users.

“We are investing in providing creators more tools to help them create engaging and fun, original content, thereby diversifying our content platter. Millions of creators are organically joining the platform, and the approach is to identify the best talent and help them in becoming super successful on social media and, eventually, influencers of the future,” he added.

Asked about the competition home grow platforms experience when it comes to monetisation of content from platforms like Instagram, who have also entered the short-video space, he said, “I would disagree with that characterisation. Most global platforms while having gained large user bases in India are subsidised by their monetisation efforts from other geographies. In comparison, we’ve been able to organically not only scale our platform and attract users but also build our monetisation efforts at a fast pace. Our monetisation efforts have been incredibly successful and we have activated various levers for brands to use our platform to reach their audiences.”

Advertisers have shown interest in the platform, Moj, organically, ranging from digital consumer services to FMCG. Further on the topic of branded content, he said they have experimented with pilots for a few brands.

“We started initial experimentations with brands like Tinder, Flipkart, and OKCredit, to ensure brands use the strength of the platform to get huge engagement. These were a great success and the collaborations helped enhance user experience on the platform. On Holi this year, we collaborated with the carbonated beverage brand, Fanta, and integrated Moj Lenses for their campaign. The resultant campaign not only helped engage the users but also blended the brand’s message in the overall communication,” he said.

The platform recently also launched the #PlayerzPotChallenge for the brand PlayerzPot to spread awareness and create engagement amongst millennials and Gen Z. For the campaign, they designed a lens to engage the user community by encouraging users to replicate cricketing poses.

The PlayerzPot campaign received an overwhelming response, reaching audiences far beyond the heartlands of India across Tier-II, Tier-III markets. The PAN India campaign was spearheaded by 50+ influencers across languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil, Marathi, and Punjabi. It got over 1 billion views in total, and the campaign also witnessed massive usage of the lens where 300k+ user-generated content was created.


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