'MX Player has been growing significantly month-on-month when it comes to ad revenue'
In a chat with e4m, Viraj Jit Singh, Head of Revenue at MX Player, gives us an insight into everything that makes the platform a great choice for the advertisers
MX Player has carved a nice for itself with the back-to-back launch of two seasons of a show, free content, gaming and music options for subscribers. Is that what is working in favour of the platform when it comes to attracting advertisers?
Reiterating these sentiments is Viraj Jit Singh, Head of Revenue at MX Player: "January 2020 vs Sept 2020 /FY Q1- Q2, our monthly run rate has increased 400%, quarterly run rate by 250%. August and September 2020 were our highest months of revenue ever, and the upcoming quarter seems even more exciting."
In a chat with E4M, Singh talks about what they have to offer to the audience and also to the advertiser.
Tell us a little about your recent content offerings. How has the new content worked for you in the lockdown period?
If we look at it from the perspective of our tentpole shows, our biggest show just got over which is Ashram Chapter One with almost 400 million views. Then we launched another show with Ranvir Shorey called High which has done really well for us. We also have Ashram Chapter Two launching in about 10 days. We have got a lot of more exclusive shows lined up for the next 60-90 days.
In addition to this, we do a lot of licensing partnerships that has done well for us in the last 6-8 months. If you look at our content calendar from mid-February, I think you’d know why we could clock the kind of reach we did. Robust content at a remarkable frequency has kept us leading in the space.
However, that is only one part of our service. We have music and games too. So we are able to tap the entire cycle of entertainment of our daily user. From music in the morning to games in the afternoon and big shows in the evening. We cater to round the clock entertainment of our users.
How are brands utilising the reach of your platform?
MX's strength lies in its content, tech, and scales of the userbase and multi-service offerings that is powering our ad -ed monetization journey. What differentiates us significantly is the ability to monetize premium content and offer a bouquet of innovative offerings across the super-app format. We have a scale in both India (Metro) and Bharat (Non-Metro).
We are a platform that has grown quite significantly month-on-month when it comes to ad revenue during the pandemic, simply because there was so much noise about the content that we brought to the table.
In terms of engagement and user base, we became number one in OTT charts in mid-March and we have been able to sustain that through September. That has really opened up the ad space for us. We have been monetizing our platform for a year now and the last six months have been especially rewarding for us.
One big factor in our success is that all the premium content is free and the advertiser is free to advertise there. So they have been doing everything from sponsorships to integrated marketing to buying premium inventory on MX Player.
For example, if we talk of a big show like ‘Times of Music’, we were actually able to integrate someone like a Smule simply because it was so relevant for them.
Tell us a little about the advertising options on MX player?
Since we control a large portion of our production content marketing or integrated marketing or branded content as we call it is something that we offer to our clients. The other option is the premium inventory. We also have a lot of brands on board for advertisements and sponsorships.
Advertisers mostly want to cash in on the immense reach our platform offers.
There is another option, which is the platform roadblocks. It is nothing but the first ad that the user sees when they open the app on any of the tabs. This allows high impact, and on an average, we sell anywhere between 15-18 dates and that’s probably one of the high impact ad units in the ecosystem that everyone from an eCommerce player to FMCG, food and mobile use.
We also provide live streaming- where we do launches and other shows. This is where we worked with all major brands like One Plus, Oppo, Vivo, Samsung and many others. We also let brands host their shows on our platform. Like Skoda did a mini web series that aired on MX Player.
Then there is gaming that has reward-based options where the user opts to watch an ad to go to the next level or unlock certain features in the game. This is what a lot of brands are also using these days.
We offer what we call ‘every-tainment’ package, which offers inventory across all the products that we have in one package and it allows a brand to have everything they want to have which is reach plus frequency and engagement plus impact.
We also offer Big Data through our DMP (Data Management Platform).
How are you planning to monetize TakaTak?
We will soon start monetizing TakaTak which will be through inventory selling and engagement.
How do you plan to keep the growth numbers sustainable?
What has worked well for us is that the growth that we have achieved was not restricted to the lockdown phase. What differentiated us from the rest of the players in the space is that we have consistently been able to offer high-quality show every two weeks. For new seasons of original content on other platforms, users often have to wait for over a year but we have done otherwise, keeping the gap between two seasons really short. This added to the structured deals in licensing of content from over a hundred partners keeps our content library fresh and full. The fact that all of it is free is the best part of the deal.
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