Abhishek Joshi of MX Player sheds light on the brand’s Everytainment strategy and the Indian OTT sector.
In an exclusive conversation with Social Samosa, Abhishek Joshi, Head of Marketing & Business Partnerships at MX Player and a jury member of #SS30Under30, shares valuable insights on the audience for Television & OTT, the power of original content on digital, and more.
Entertainment Industry is your forte, but how is working for television different from working for OTT?
India has primarily been a television set household, for as long as one can remember. Today, the internet allows you to bring entertainment to screens in people’s pockets. The core difference lies in the style of watching. Television is more family viewing and OTT becomes personalized, that’s the key differentiator and hence all plans are tailored accordingly.
With OTT players spending big on original, acquired, and catch-up content, the OTT war is now more intense than ever. Your thoughts on this?
India’s affinity for entertainment has not dimmed, even with multiple suitors — theatres, television or phone screens — everyone competing for their attention.
There definitely is more space to create quality content for targeted groups and bridge the gap between the types of content that audiences crave. It is the catalog that drives demand for its service. What we are seeing today signals not just the multiplicity of entertainment choices, but also India’s transition from broadcasting to narrowcasting. And the game has only just begun.
This year MX Player has streamed new seasons of some of the most talked-about shows like The AamAadmi Family, Tripling Humorously Yours, how has been the reaction, did this approach help the platform in strengthening the roots?
Our only focus is to provide content that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience. These shows have built a connection with viewers in season 1 itself and definitely warrant for multiple seasons. These shows have received a great response on the platform and through these launches, we have been able to reach out to a targeted, strengthening our positioning of offering Everytainment.
What are your key marketing objectives in the coming quarters? How do you plan to achieve these goals
We have two segments of viewers – existing and new users. For the new users, it is the extensive catalogue of shows that grabs their attention, coupled with tailor-made content on social, via PR, using mediums that build recall and generate awareness etc. We also aim at introducing new features on our app to retain existing users (For instance – Picture-in-Picture mode, Subtitles)
Additionally, you need to find a piece of the pie that connect people to what you are offering. For example, a comprehensive 360-degree marketing plan was formulated for our satire series ‘Aafat’. The marketing campaign was created with a strategy to challenge the age-old belief of ‘LadkiyaantohAafatHai’ and reposition it as a positive message by coining #MainHoonAafat.
Strategic partnerships are changing the ecosystem as well. A growing regional focus is also developing through partnerships and acquisitions to deliver custom content.
Everything ties back to quality content and seamless experience and all that we do is directed towards that.
What are the challenges you are facing to position yourself from being a media player to the VOD platform?
We are a part of an industry that has only just begun blooming, everyone is eyeing the same target. And this is a challenge for all OTT players out there.
Consumer habits are hard to break and all our efforts are directed towards ensuring that viewers no longer consider the app to be a local media player but also a leading streaming platform which is FREE for everyone. We’ve been educating the audiences on this pivotal change using multiple mediums be it to print/ digital & social, OOH, PR, etc from the time of launch.
We launched our Originals in February 2019. Since then, we have come up with over 15 MX Original shows with a positive response overall. MX Player is free to watch platform and being an AVOD platform, we have seen various come to our platform for content. At the end of the day, it’s the content that matters and that is what we are about. Additionally, the talent pool we work with adds credibility and establishes scale and quality.
Also read: #SamosaTalks: If organic buzz is high, people will post about it says, Divya Dixit, ALTBalaji
IdeaChor the gimmick campaign around Thinkistan was talked a lot, did it rub off the wrong nerve? What are your thoughts on the use of bold and risky tactics
An idea is an idea. If it works for your brand then why not. What we wanted to do was catch the attention of the netizens. It was risky but that’s the business we are in, the risk is the core of what we do. Furthermore, the idea went hand in hand with the concept of the show we were promoting. Digital viewers and the industry at large have been intrigued by the concept. The campaign started many conversations that route back to the show.
As Marketers and Advertisers set out on the Road to 2020, what are the
3 Trends they should follow
- Augmented reality is the future
- Interactive content
3 Changes they should bring about to build a Trusted Brand
- Be honest, this always takes you a long way
- Bring value – be it with your product, experience or pricing
- Be consistent
3 Marketers / Industry Experts you follow for insights and mindshare
- Jack Ma (Alibaba)
- Tim Cook (Apple)
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon)
Closing advice/tips for Social Samosa 30 Under 30 Nominees
It is all about the wow factor. While every nominee has done their part and carved a path for themselves, it is how you market yourself that matters as well.