Fandrum: The next-gen social media platform
Samridhi Katyal, Co-founder of Fandrum, speaks to exchange4media about the idea and inspiration behind creating the platform that is designed with fans and related content at its fulcrum
Samridhi Katyal, Co-founder of Fandrum, spoke to exchange4media at length about the idea and inspiration behind Fandrum, which is a platform that is designed with fans and related content at its fulcrum.
Excerpts from the conversation below:
What is the idea behind Fandrum?
Fandrum, as the name suggests, means fan as in person-noun, and drum here is the influencer. So, Fandrum is fan as the influencer. Content is in the driving seat today. Content consumption is no more a passive activity done in the drawing room of the house. It is a choice that everyone makes and at one’s own pleasure. People bond around content. And, thus the idea of a social media platform with fans or content as its fulcrum. Fans give content its meaning, its shelf life, its virality. When fans embrace content, it becomes part of popular culture. Thus, fans are at the centre of the world of content of Fandrum.
Tell me more about Fandrum and what makes it special.
Fandrum is our effort to connect fans around the world. Fandrum stands for fan identity. What makes it special are the fans themselves. In this world torn around everything, this platform endeavours to be the happy place where people connect around movies, TV shows and artists. It makes them feel happy and special.
You said “Next Generation”…
Social media requires a fulcrum, which is ubiquitous. With the advent of the internet, social media identity has become a thing. From Yahoo Messenger A/S/L (Age, Sex and Location) (read anonymous) to Orkut, that gave an identity to Facebook and brought friends together, the social media identity has been evolving and yet remains to be an extension of the real-world identity of the person. Internet is real-world identity agnostic. Why should the social media identity have real-world limitations? Why should you only be friends with people out of your school or your colleagues. When we join a university how do we make friends? Fan Quotient (measure of liking somebody towards something) is the answer. It is universal and it is this that fosters the greatest of friendships.
We are the “Next Generation” because it is no more about “you” but about “yourself”. Live yourself on Fandrum and dabble in your interests, meet people like yourself.
You come from a media background. Is it what inspired you?
Absolutely. During my days at Star and Viacom, I had been privileged to attend meetings where audience numbers were crunched and like how… The greatest insight that I got was that India is the largest content producer in the world and heroes/heroines enjoy the same level of devotion from fans as gods. Similarly, cricket is a religion in India. So, while the fan quotient or factor exists in plenty, the opportunities to show them off are rare, if any.
Fandrum is the place for fans to shout out loud their fan quotient without being judged. I myself am a fan of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and know how at times I have been judged. So, whether you are fan of K soaps or Bigg Boss or dubbed South Indian movies…this is the place for you.
How is your offering different from the fan communities that we see on social media platforms?
Our USP is the ‘Fan Value Calculator’. We believe in measuring the intangible. The social equity that a fan puts behind a celebrity or content is true, and without any consideration. He fights for his celebrity. He defends him. But why isn’t there any consideration? For any social contract, consideration is the main pillar. The Fan Value Calculator measures the social equity spend of a fan, and then rewards him for the same. Thus, no more a mere exercise out of love but one which would be recognised, rewarded and rejoiced.
Also, all the platforms were not designed with fan communities as the primary feature while the basic relationship in Fandrum is fan with his community. Also, we shall serve the various other considerations that arise from content consumption like discovery of content, exploring content around content and purchases.
You said Recognise, Reward and Rejoice? What are the kinds of rewards users can expect?
Rewards would be both tangible and experiential. By tangible, I mean free subscriptions, goodies, etc. For the fans, it is the experiential rewards which we believe they would love. Meeting with a celebrity, attending a premiere, etc. are things which have not been easy to achieve if you don’t have connects, and we hope to bridge the gap between the celebrity and his super fans.
Super fans, can you elaborate?
Fandrum has a 7-stage journey for every fan. The contribution of a fan in fandom, the popularity of a fan in fandom and fulfilling responsibilities towards the fandom are what determine the stage a fan is at.
This 7-stage journey will be eventful, making every celebrity take notice of the popular fans in his/her fandom. It is this social equity that a fan generates which will make a celebrity come and meet his fan. It is the 7th stage which is the Super Fan and which shall be every fan’s endeavour.
What can we expect going forward?
A platform that is available across every device with proprietary fan features for the fans to shout out loud who and why they are a fan of. A community of like-minded people in their happy spheres with each rooting and putting out their emotional equity for their favourites.
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