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70% of our spend is on content: Ajay Chacko, Co-founder, Arre

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70% of our spend is on content: Ajay Chacko, Co-founder, Arre

Popular content channel Arré is launching a new original web series ‘The Real High’ starring Rannvijay Singh, under their travel vertical called Arré Outdoors. Positioned as an adventure-reality-show around destinations, ‘The Real High’ is presented by Arunachal Pradesh Tourism and driven by Nissan Terrano, with Woodland as its Associate Sponsor and O’cean Active as the Beverage Partner.

The eight-part series, targeted at 18–30 year olds, has been shot for 10–15 days in remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh. It is Arré’s ambitious project (in terms of scale) costing almost a crore rupees. It will be out on their platform as well as partner platforms like YouTube, Facebook, SonyLIV and YuppTV among others.

Ajay Chacko, Co-founder, Arré says, “This is getting a set of brands and government, who are interested in taking a slightly non-traditional view of tourism, together. You can take destinations and package them very differently as well. That’s why the government is trying to partner with us.”

B. Saikumar, Founder, Arré adds, “Arré Outdoors is a fresh take on travel through stories and formats that will take our viewers and readers to places and nudge them to get out of their homes and experience these journeys themselves, one trip at a time.”

Under the Outdoors vertical, Arré will launch around six big shows and ‘30–40 mid-tier units and hundreds of smaller units.’ Chacko says, “The mid-tier units (of five minute duration) will be experiential and revolve around adventures.”

Next in line are music and technology verticals. Chacko says, “Music will be out in a month or two. It will be more editorialised to begin with. It will go into smaller gigs and then we will create a platform for independent music and move into a slightly differentiated larger piece. We are trying to introduce newer destinations for music. Lots of tourism brands, alcohol and consumer durables targeting the youth have shown interest for it. Tech will be a crossover between technology and culture.”

The content platform is getting into regional entertainment in a big way. Chacko says, “We have already started experimenting with Tamil and Telugu dubs of our shows. Our bilingual show in Tamil and Punjabi will be out in a couple of months and will be available across 14 platforms.”

Arré is conducting a Facebook Live chat for the web-series and marketing will be mostly consumptive ‘which is where the audience is.’ Chacko doesn’t believe in spending on marketing as the bulk goes into content. “Seventy per cent of our spends is on content,” he says.

Arré’s revenue model is branded content and syndication; it started the latter eight months ago. Chacko says, “Our shows are now going to North America, South Africa and France. We are even on airlines like Qatar and Jet Airways. It’s a good monetizing opportunity for us.”

Recently, its first web series A.I.SHA | My Virtual Girlfriend has won the best overall web series and best suspense/thriller at South Florida WebFest in Miami. The show has been selected from a screening of the best 27 global web series and short films. 

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