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Our content strategy is proudly mass & is highly consumer-driven: Gautam Talwar

Talwar, Chief Content Officer, MX Player, talks about the release of season 3 of Aashram, content line-up and investment for the current year, content strategy, and more

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: May 25, 2022 8:35 AM  | 4 min read
Gautam Talwar

MX Player is all set to launch the third season of one of its most popular shows 'Aashram'. This new season of the series premieres June 3, 2022. According to the platform, season 2 of the series had 160 million unique views. The show has been a massive hit among the audiences and is the biggest franchise on Indian OTT. 

Talking about the much-anticipated show, Gautam Talwar, Chief Content Officer at MX Player said, “I genuinely believe that cinema reflects society and vice versa. It’s important to create an impact with your work. Personally, I have never met any baba. It requires a lot of time, effort, energy, and passion to create a show of this magnitude and scale. The first two seasons of Aashram have been well received by the audiences.” 

He further added, “The social drama was watched by more than 60 million users in Maharashtra and Delhi-NCR alone. And the trailer of Aashram Season 3 was trending number one in India within 6 hours of its launch. This is the power of a good show, and it has been made possible by my team at MX Player, the entire cast and the crew of the show, who worked together to make it successful. But above all, the credit goes to the captain of the ship, the man with a vision, the man who breathed life into all the characters and the story, Prakash Jha.” 

Last month, the platform also launched a new series - Dhahanam - from the house of Ram Gopal Varma. Additionally, Lock Upp - the platform's first reality show, has recently concluded. 

Speaking to e4m about the content strategy for the current year, Talwar informed that MX Player has a fantastic line-up for June to December period. “The calendar is completely booked between June and December. As I previously stated, our content strategy is proudly mass, and is highly consumer-driven. Our target demographic is males between 18-30 age group, who live in rural towns. So, that's the narrative, and thankfully for us, a lot of our series, including Queens and Campus Diary, are returning with season two. So, this shows whatever we're doing, our fans like it, and as a result, the series are turning into interesting franchises. As a result, the former shows will have new seasons and a set of brand new shows will also be launched.”

Talwar noted that when it comes to the content investment plan, they had invested in nearly 35 shows, but shoots for these shows stalled due to the rising cases of Covid-19. As a result, there have been numerous derailments. “We attempt to provide as many shows as possible to our customers. As a result, investments will continue to rise. I wouldn't say we've doubled or tripled it, but I believe we're close to double our initial investments for sure.”

Produced and directed by Prakash Jha, the MX Original Series stars an ensemble cast comprising Bobby Deol, Aaditi Pohankar, Chandan Roy Sanyal, Darshan Kumaar, Anupriya Goenka, Esha Gupta, Sachin Shroff, Adhyayan Suman, Tridha Choudhury, Vikram Kochhar, Anuritta K Jha, Rushad Rana, Tanmay Ranjan, Preeti Sood, Rajeev Siddhartha, and Jaya Seal Ghosh.

According to Talwar, Covid has made it evident that OTT is becoming the preferred medium for entertainment. “We were always in that growth trajectory. Covid has just accelerated the growth massively. People have tried a lot of OTT platforms, and they keep coming back for more if they liked something on that platform. I think that is the good part about OTT and therefore, once this behavior shift happens by consumers that they prefer one medium over others, that is where delivering the right content to them becomes even more important.”

He also mentioned the two consumer consumption trends that have emerged- people like to watch Korean shows along with other international shows. “We've got a very massive viewership on MX VDesi- the section on the platform which has international dubbed shows. Catching up with the trend, we've launched for the first time a premium long-format television kind of content, which is a show called Roohaniyat. So for the first time, we launched a series of 52 episodes. And like this, there are three or four shows on the floor right now, which are what we call premium, long-format shows. Audiences find it better than television experiences.” 

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