Bolo Indya looks to build strong revenue ecosystem for content creators

For Bolo Indya, the top languages that have traction on the platform are Hindi followed by Telugu, Tamil, Bangla, Punjabi, and Marathi

e4m by Javed Farooqui
Published: Mar 30, 2021 8:36 AM  | 4 min read
bolo india

Creator-first live streaming platform Bolo Indya has trained its sights on building the creator economy for Tier-2, 3, and 4 regions. Launched in May 2019, the platform is positioning itself as the go-to destination for content creators of semi-urban and rural areas or Bharat, as they are called.

In order to boost the creator economy, Bolo Indya recently launched Bolo Meets and introduced Bolo-Live. The platform currently has over 28.50 lakh creators spread across 14 languages. Bolo Indya expects its creator income to grow by 300% by December 2021.

Bolo Indya CEO and Founder Varun Saxena claimed that the platform has emerged as the largest live streaming app in India over the last 6 months, with more than 12 lakh live streaming sessions happening on Bolo Indya in February 2021. "We are the only homegrown app to be able to boost the creator economy for Tier 2-4 content creators. We are not the part of the clutter that we see in the short video apps segment," he asserted.

Saxena noted that content creators on Bolo Indya have earned more than Rs 2.2 crore over the last 7 months with most of the top-earning creators coming from Tier 2 and 3 regions. "We have not only focused on the creator economy for video editing savvy content creators of metros and tier 1, but we have empowered the content creators of actual Bharat to be able to monetize every time they generate content on the platform. The earnings of our top creators are close to Rs 95,000 per month, while the median earning is close to Rs 26,000."

Talking about the reception for Bolo Live and Bolo Meets, Saxena said that the response has been far more encouraging than what the platform expected at the time of launch. He added that 90% of creator earnings on the platform are happening through Bolo Live and Bolo Meets. Furthermore, Bolo Indya creators are no more dependent only on brands or shopping commerce for monetisation.

Saxena also said that the Indian market is mature enough for a service like Bolo Live which comes with integrated real-time gamification in the form of a gifting option. "Market is mature already, and more than metros and tier 1, it is the tier 2-4 audiences who are hooked up with real-time gifting and gamification on the platform. The volume of monthly giftings to creators is close to 5 lakh as of March 2021, while it was 1.4 lakh in Feb'21 and just 40,000 in the month of Jan'21."

In order to help the creators monetise their content, Bolo Indya's equal opportunity algorithm of feed distribution ensures that Bolo Meets of all the creators are getting distributed well on the platform and reaching out to a high number of audience interested in similar interest areas. "Creators can create, host, get paid, and deliver Bolo Meets on the platform itself through one-to-one and one-to-many live interactive sessions."

Not only that, but Bolo Indya also provides mentorship and guidance to the early-stage content creators to be able to trigger giftings at multiple touchpoints while interacting with their audience. "In addition, for creators working on a scale with us, we also provide them with a unified managed services dashboard that empowers content creators to be able to have a single and easy-to-use view of their entire revenue generation," Saxena averred.

Bolo Indya has different revenue share arrangements with different content creators. It also depends on multiple factors such as modes of monetisation being leveraged by the content creator.

Bolo Indya, which has raised with $1.1 million funding to date, has been in advanced talks to raise nearly Rs 45-51 crore. The proceeds from the fresh funding will be used to further enhance Bolo Meet’s personalisation and recommendation engine and predictive analytics capabilities including Bolo Meet’s experience, penetration, and interactive tools to strengthen content commerce and content monetisation capabilities.

The platform is expected to close FY21 with a revenue of $0.5 million (Rs 3.68 crore). "As far as Bolo Indya is concerned, we are a revenue-generating platform. We will be clocking in close to 0.5 million USD net revenue in FY20-21," Saxena said in response to a question about the lack of monetisation by short-video platforms despite huge growth in adoption and consumption.

For Bolo Indya, the top languages that have traction on the platform are Hindi followed by Telugu, Tamil, Bangla, Punjabi, and Marathi. "Other languages have been growing well at least in Bolo Indya. For us, Hindi comprises only 43% user base and 57% creator base. Telugu is the second most-consumed language, followed by Tamil and Bangla. Punjabi and Marathi are the next two in terms of traction."


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