Aashram saw 130% growth in watch time in some markets: Gautam Talwar, MX Player

MX Player CCO Gautam Talwar talks to e4m about their record-breaking show Aashram and shares insights into holding on to a growing user base and sustaining numbers

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Updated: Sep 23, 2020 8:36 AM

The lockdown has opened up a slew of opportunities for OTT players. From exploding subscriber base to unprecedented watch hours, OTT platforms have seen it all. In a chat with e4m, Gautam Talwar, CCO, MX Player talks about their new show Aashram and how it broke all records for the platform. Talwar also talks about how to hold on to a growing user base and sustain numbers.


 Your recent show Aashram has been breaking records in terms of views. Tell us more about its reach. Do you have a TG wise or city-wise divide?

I wouldn't be wrong if I say this is amongst the best performing OTT series the country has seen. It is difficult to tell whether it is number one or number two in terms of viewership because the data on OTT is very closed. Exact numbers aside, Aashram would undoubtedly be amongst the top shows in the country. The show outperformed our expectations if we look at it in terms of the sheer number of minutes, or the number of users who have actually seen the show on the platform. It has broken all records internally and externally for us.  Interestingly there is also a record number of people who have come to the platform to watch Aashram and have also watched other things after watching the show. So the carry-through number has also been very encouraging.  

If we talk of specific markets, Northwest is one such market that has done very well. Some cities and some states have seen record traffic where we have seen close to 130% growth rate in terms of users’ watch time. 

While we have entered Unlock 4 it must have still taken a lot of initiative to promote a new show during this time. What is the media mix that you have used to promote Aashram?

We have actually gone ahead with a completely 360-degree media mix. We have gone all out just like we would have probably done in pre-COVID times. So as far as the media mix is concerned, we have used everything from a Kapil Sharma Show for spot buys to outdoor to digital and social. We extensively used outdoor as well as print during the launch. We did radio too. The only positive at this time is the cost-effectiveness of each of the medium. Since we got better value for the prices we paid pushed our buttons on everything. 

After Aashram, what is the next big production we should be expecting on MX player? Can you give us a sneak peek into your content lineup?

We are coming up with a show called High that is to be launched on October 7. We would launch a teaser very soon. It is not a very big show in terms of star cast or scale but it is very well narrated and it will look like an international show from the MX table.  I can guarantee that. Aashram Season 2 is also in the production stage that will be out soon and that apart we have a full pipeline coming out in November and December.

It would be interesting to understand how you are holding on to the viewership gain that we saw on OTT platforms during the lockdown? What is your brand doing to sustain the growth?

It is interesting how we have seen viewers holding on to the platform. While the subscriber base exploded during the lockdown, we managed to maintain sustainable growth even in the various phases of unlock.  The only way you can do that actually is to consistently give the audience what they want to see. We are probably the only players who did 8 to 10 new shows during the lockdown period. Be it original or acquired we have maintained a consistency in coming out with fresh content and I think we will continue to do that because we have understood how hungry the audience is. The more content we threw at them the more we understand their likes dislikes and we fine-tune our offering accordingly. To make sure that you maintain your growth level at a certain level you have to also make sure that you come up with the kind of content your audience likes to see.

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