Republic TV launched their mobile-first digital destination, Republicworld.com, with a few innovations including vertical videos, Virtual Reality videos and personalisation. Complete with user-centric features and new technology, the destination aims to provide personalised and immersive content experience to its audiences.
In a first, Republicworld.com will feature long-format Live and VoD content in the form of vertical videos specially created for mobile audiences. Given the exponential growth in mobile video consumption, the vertical video format (running for past one week) gives Republic audiences a native viewing experience on their mobile devices. The website will provide 360-degree and Virtual Reality content for viewers for an immersive news experience. All Republic video content will be streamed in High Definition. An app is also in the works which will be out in a couple of weeks. The digital vertical is also looking at the podcast section, which they feel is untapped.
Republicworld.com, besides having its popular Live debates, opinions and interactive news content, will also build communities around user habits such as entertainment, music, gadgets, travel, etc.
The network is taking collaboration seriously as it has tied up with 10–15 language partners like OTV, Sambad, News Live, Niyomiya Barta, North East Live, Punjab Kesari, Aajkaal, S Newz, Dainik Bhaskar, Nirmana News, Kashmir Monitor, Lokmat, Vikatan TV, Polimer, Asianetnews.tv, Asianet News, Kannada Prabha and Suvarna News across different languages like Tamil, Telugu, Oriya and Malayalam among others.
It has also tied up with other ‘community’ partners to cater to people’s affinities and habits including tripoto.com, RSJ, LBB.in, yourstory.com, digit.in and AutoX. Original content comprises around 70% of the website with the remaining 30% for aggregated content, although, the ratio keeps changing.
Jay Chauhan, COO, Republicworld.com, said, “In the digital content space, there is no single dominant global player operating out of the South Asia and that’s a big opportunity for us. Republicworld.com is at the intersection of content and tech, so we will keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to constantly engage and improve upon the user experience for our audiences.”
He further added, “Within India, regional content consumption is growing exponentially and with the excellent network of our digital partners, this launch reaffirms our objective to work as a force and consistently engage with our audience in the language and habit of their choice.”
Every week, the network will release VR videos and their team has been trained in VR by experts from Canada and France. When it comes to monetisation, they are definitely looking at sponsored content, as video gives the storytelling option and considers programmatic advertising.
Vikas Khanchandani, CEO at Republic TV, said, “All deals that we have done on television digital are a part of some of those structures. Some of the advertisers are really keen on participating with us on digital assets and have earmarked certain amount of money. Now is a good time to go out in the marketplace. We are waiting to get the website to stabilise and see how consumers are reacting.”
It needs to be noted that in May, Republic announced Microsoft India as its technology partner. Through this partnership, Microsoft will power Republic’s broadcast techniques using some of its latest hardware and software offerings to deliver a superior news visualisation experience for viewers.