Shemaroo launches OTT app with two subscription plans, looks to enter US market in coming quarter

MUMBAI: Content powerhouse Shemaroo Entertainment is the latest to join the crowded over the top (OTT) space with the launch of ShemarooMe. The subscription-driven app offers consumers the option to buy individual packs piecemeal or the all-access pack of ShemarooMe.

The individual category plans cost – Rs. 49/ month or Rs. 499/ year. All access plans cost Rs. 99/ month or Rs. 999/ year.

The OTT platform offers content in five genres namely Bollywood, Bollywood Classics, Gujarati, Punjabi, Devotional and Kids. Currently, the app is available in India. Going forward, the plan is to launch it in the US market in the first quarter of FY20.

The core content library on Shemaroo Me will comprise of around 2000 film titles and 1000 hours of non-film content. The content will be available in Hindi, Gujarati, and Punjabi languages.

Shemaroo Entertainment CEO Hiren Gada said that US, UK, and Gulf are the biggest markets for Indian content due to the presence of the large Indian diaspora. He further informed that right now the app is being tested in the US market before a formal launch. “Hopefully within a quarter or so we will be targeting at least to unveil it and then the rollout,” said Gada.

Shemaroo Me will primarily work on the subscription model. There will be some amount free of content available on the platform. A freemium kind of content will be offered where the users can register and access only the limited content. The company will also offer free access to the platforms during the trial period to gather allow users to sample the content.

“Mainly our business model is subscription based. Currently, we are focusing on that. The ad-based rollout will be in the next phase. As of now, we are not looking at an ad-supported model,” expressed Gada.

Talking about the content library, Gada said that the non-film library comprises of devotion, kids, film-based content. He also said that the content offering will be slowly scaled up. More languages will be added to target a wider user base.

“So, we are prepping the content. Three months down the line, we will be more adding more content on the platform. We will also be adding more languages, even hopefully one or two more other categories. Some of it is already tied up somewhere under tier. Places where the population is not sharp enough that we have not yet put up as and when it sharpens, we will be adding those categories,” Gada noted.

Unlike other OTT platforms, Shemaroo Me will not have original shows but it will try to offer the consumers some unique and interesting content. “We created two shows called ‘Cinema ka Safar’ and ‘Pehli Baar’. ‘Cinema ka Safar’ is like a history of Bollywood, with 22 episodes and very nicely created with Renuka Shahane who’s presenting the show. The classic audience will really love it because it goes back literally a hundred years or 70 years or so many years back into history as one format. Another format we created something called ‘Pehli Baar’, the show which is on something happened on-screen so for the first time. We have 100 hours of episodes already in place,” said Gada.

He further opined, “This could be our original show in a way, but not the way we understand from the other OTT platforms which have web series. This is more for deepening that understanding of the current category itself. A classic lover will see the movie but he will also love to see a deep dive interview with Dharmendra or other legends in Bollywood. So those kinds of things we brought tremendously on the platform.”

Gada also stated that the platform will be focussed at the non-English audience which makes up the bulk of the market. “We have 1 billion users monthly on YouTube. But for our channels, we have about 90 million of monthly unique users. We have a capital consumer base on YouTube so trying to do transition with them as many of them as possible,” shared Gada.

Consumers can download the ShemarooMe OTT app from Google Play, iOS App store and http://shemaroome.com/. It is user-friendly and customisable, making it a great choice for consumers and their families.

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