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Regional original content will not surpass consumption of cinema in the South: Ram Veerapaneni, India MD, Whacked Out Media

09-March-2017
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Regional original content will not surpass consumption of cinema in the South: Ram Veerapaneni, India MD, Whacked Out Media

Whacked Out Media, a completely bootstrapped company, is hurtling past one milestone after, garnering millions of eyeballs every day for many of its 1,300+ YouTube channels. The multi-channel network (MCN) has grown from strength to strength and now boasts of a billion views each for three of its most popular channels.

The MCN’s most popular channels are Telugu Filmnagar, Children’s Nursery Rhymes, and Nursery Rhymes. These channels have attracted audiences from all over the world with more than half the views for kids’ channels coming from the US. The channels collectively account for over 3,000 years of watch-time and 4.2 million subscribers. Collectively, Whacked Out Media’s 1,300+ channels on YouTube have garnered 900 million monthly views with 62,000+ years of watch-time.

 

Ram Veerapaneni, India MD, Whacked Out Media, shared the company’s recipe for success with exchange4media in a recent interview.

 

How do you manage content creation for the 1,300+ channels that are managed by Whacked Out Media?

We already have over 6,00,000 hours of content in various genres. Most of the channels are managed by us where the content is owned by the partners apart from owning and creating content for our owned and operated channels. We help the content partners ideate, deploy, and promote the content using their channels, which creates a win-win situation.

In the case of regional original content vs. cinema-based content, which format has more takers? 

The consumption of original content is growing every day. However, it will not surpass the consumption of traditional cinema especially in South India where superstars are treated as demi-gods.

What is your recipe for success for your staggering viewership numbers?

We currently have 13 million+ subscribers across all our channels. We talk to 230 million+ social media followers contributing to over a billion monthly views. This makes us the largest MCN in the country. Importantly, we have built this base organically, unlike other MCNs that pay for views. Our portals play an important role for our success.

How did you build your wide subscriber base?

We are basically an audience development and content publishing company. For us, content is in the form of text, pictures, and videos. We reach out to the audience using content and engage them with content. We use these social media followers to market our content efficiently. We understand content and thrive on the pull strategy to market it.

What is your revenue strategy?

Our revenue streams are based on a well-diversified risk model. Our revenue streams comprise YouTube-based advertising (AVOD), Content Licensing revenues, Brand revenues – these are through brands commissioning branded content, Revenues generated through Celebrity VAS, and Brand Mentions by our Influencers.

What is your content strategy for the kids segment?

There are many sub-sects in the kids segment. It is expensive to create animation and kids’ content, which is a risky proposition. Hence, our risk mitigation strategy is to spread our presence on YouTube in kids segment. We believe in quantity vs. quality. We own and manage approximately 150+ kids’ channels.

Given that many brands are jumping on to the regional content bandwagon, what according to you is the scope for regional original content?

Google search has been focused on localization in the last few months. Hence, there is a demand for localised content. Internet has democratized the content creation space. There is humongous amount of content being generated in the local language. The internet penetration is encouraging the creators to generate more content. However, we need to wait and watch as to how the advertisers react to this cause.

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