While talking about ‘Going Local, The Regional Content landscape in India’, Sunil Kamath, Chief Business Officer, ShareChat at #SMLive 2019 shares that companies should build a roadmap in the regional direction.
“Regional is something very new in the country and is gaining a lot of traction. Thanks to the mobile operators like Jio bringing down data costs and launching cost-effective smartphones,” exclaimed Kamath while giving viewers an overview of the growth of regional in India.
Regional Language Growth in India
India is a very diverse country a bit like Europe in languages. As a country, we speak more than 1000 plus languages. Popular ones being 22 to consume as content. More than half a million have Hindi as the first language followed by Telugu, Tamil and more, while English has 200k. Kamath also shared that as of now we have 200 million users consuming content in English on the internet.
Next 300 million are regional language users. Google’s KPMG report specified that the CAGR of regional language growth stands at 20% an that of English is less than 2%.
The evolution of Regional Content
“In 2005, we were the first ones to launch a Hindi based app portal for IRCTC. That was my early brush with regional. A lot of early adoption was started from the news category. Almost all of us have been consuming regional through videos but not really through text. That has changed over a couple of years”, highlighted Kamath.
Next phase of growth was largely through YouTube or as he would point out from DailyHunt which created one single touchpoint for consumers. In the last 12-24 months, mobile OTT platforms are also very heavily focussed on regional languages. Kamath added, “They are really going deep because there is definitely an audience who have got the low-cost data connection and personalized television”.
ShareChat Content Segmentation
Sharechat comes up with UGC strategy which, Kamath claims to be a whole new paradigm for content consumption.
3 kinds of content categories:
PGC (Professionally Generated Content) – large media companies like Sony, Star, Zee, Colors creating studio quality content.
PUGC (Professional User Generated Content) – private YouTube channels, individual studios.
UGC ( User Generated Content) – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Sharechat enabling users to create and upload content from wherever they are.
Content consumption patterns on Sharechat
Kamath here informs that Sharechat doesn’t have English as an option. “If you are an English user, this is not the app for you. Fundamentally companies want to build a roadmap in regional direction”.
In the all-weather category, fun and humor always stand at the top followed by romance and relationships with red hearts floating on the screen which is emotionally generated content, greetings from users, movies, music, and entertainment are extremely high consumed content.
WhatsApp status update is another highlight where users aggressively download content such as shayari, videos and upload them as WhatsApp update. “Emerging categories are devotional content, fashion and lifestyle 30% of our audience being female, health and fitness”.
Periodic categories are cricket world cup memes, partners, news, and politics. Educational content such as entrance exam solutions which are as simple as writing on a piece of paper are also gaining prominence.
This was a broad break up of content on ShareChat where majority of the consumers coming from tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
Brands, Marketers, and Regional
The characteristic of a regional content user is that he/she has come on board less than 2 yrs back, belongs to tier 2 and 3 cities, mainly uses WhatsApp. According to Kamath, Sharechat becomes an interesting proponent there. On the consumption front, he shared that the minimum attention span is less than 1 minute of video time spent per content piece. Tier 2 and 3 audiences are using these platforms primarily for entertainment than convenience. They want to consume hyperlocal content.
ShareChat has also not gone out aggressively after brands. But is active across languages, for instance, it is working with a Telegu production house running auditions on ShareChat. They are shortlisting individuals whom they will be meeting face to face after watching the videos.
He added, “We see a lot of news cases built on the platform and it is a good time to start identifying partners”.
On Influencer marketing
ShareChat has around 400 celebrities. Fairly new audiences on the social network reach out to these celebrities. The platform recently hosted a campaign by Parachute’s new aloe vera product and a celebrity campaign for Telugu video creating an app called Ving.
“Creators are very keen to identify the original creators on ShareChat. We want to engage them with brands and build awareness,” Kamath shared.
He also feels that regional platforms as a market is starting up now. There is a lot more to be done. It is now time for everyone who is interested to understand audiences who are using these platforms.
One point that he highlighted in the Q&A session was that to create regional specific content, it is a huge opportunity for a regional only creative agency.