Eros Now working on ad models to allow more people to sample original content

MUMBAI: Over the top (OTT) platform Eros Now, which had recently partnered mobile advertising platform InMobi, is working on ad models to allow a wider audience base to consume its original content.

Eros Now is primarily a subscription video on demand (SVoD) platform and most of the premium content including originals is behind the paywall. The OTT platform doesn’t want subscription to be a hindrance in attracting new audiences.

The platform will launch its original show ‘Side Hero’ directed by Rohan Sippy on 24 September. The show is based on the life of and stars Kunaal Roy Kapur. ‘Side Hero’ will be the first long-format episodic original series by the platform. Earlier, it had created short-format properties and digital films like ‘Meri Nimmo’.

Eros Now had recently collaborated with InMobi to devise a go-to-market strategy, offering integrated advertising and marketing solutions.

“We are exploring how brands can work with us. We will also do some innovations to allow some sampling of content on ‘Side Hero’ and ‘other originals. We want more people to sample our content. We don’t want the payment to be a hindrance to kick off,” Eros Now COO Ali Hussein said during a media interaction.

He further noted that the SVoD model is important but it will not shy away from making aberrations in its model to get a larger funnel size.

Talking about the InMobi partnership, Hussein said, “About 90% of our audience is device based. InMobi is the largest mobile-driven advertising network in the country. It is also a technology company. Our initiative with them is also how we are able to work on next generation of ad formats and how to work with advertisers to leverage the mobile screen as a form of engagement for the brand.”

Hussein further stated that the platform will be doing interesting brand integrations with originals as well. Eros Now is currently doing tests and pilots with InMobi.

Queried as to why it took Eros Now so long to come up with its first long-form original episodic series, Eros Group chief content office Ridhima Lulla said that the writing takes a lot of time when it comes to creating original content. “Development and writing is everything for our show. It does take time and we are happy we have this much time,” she noted.

Hussein said that the time is ripe for Eros Now to go out with its original content as established players like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have already created a market for local original web content.

He also stated that the platform wanted to come up with high-quality content as anything less than that will not go down well with the millennial audience.

Asked about the kind of content that works on digital, Lulla said that the scope of what can be created on digital is endless. However, the content should have something for everyone. She also said that Eros Now shows will be multi-seasonal. The plan is to come out with 1 to 2 originals a month.

Hussein pointed out that Eros Now has become a global platform with viewership from over 100 countries. He also said that the distribution partnerships with telcos have been a boon for OTT players like Eros Now. “The carriers help us drive a lot of traffic because of the amount of native traffic on their platform today is large,” he added.

Catering to the Indian sensibility is at the core of Eros Now’s content creation strategy.

Lulla noted that the content will travel to international markets provided it stays true to the product. “Primarily, we want Indian audiences to tune in and be happy but I think content doesn’t have a barrier. The more we stay true to the product the more it will be appreciated globally. All our shows will be sub-titled so international audiences will be able to tune in,” she stated.

Hussein added, “We will always cater to the Indian sensibility. There are certain creative projects that we are undertaking which will cater to a wider audience. We will try to stay true to the creative first and then our audience.”

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