Plan to make digital content 25% of our overall revenue: Deepak Lamba, WWM

Deepak Lamba, CEO, Worldwide Media, on the group's revenue through digital, shows in the works and more

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Jul 9, 2018 8:55 AM

Lifestyle and entertainment content-player, Worldwide Media is eyeing on strengthening its digital-first and platform agnostic strategy with shows that can sit comfortably across television and digital. The group had launched some successful properties like 'Famously Filmfare' and Nexa Journeys on AH1, which have garnered 25 mn and 104 mn impressions respectively. exchange4media spoke to Deepak Lamba, CEO, WWM, on the group's revenue through digital, shows in the works and more. Edited excerpts:

How has the expansion been so far on the different platforms?

It is not something we planned all of a sudden. The expansion has been part of a very well-thought strategy. When I took over this business over three years ago, the print business in any case had its head winds and challenges due to the nature of the medium. And typically, if you want to engage with a large advertiser then offering just print as a solution is not enough. It has to be backed with making sure that the engagement happens with a wide number of people of a relevant audience.

The vision for WWM is an evolving leading lifestyle and content player that is platform agnostic. We believe that today the best way to reach out to as many people of relevant audience is through the web and we do it through video.What the web does for us is not only distribute content but also drive interactions and engagements. Our consumers give us comments about what they like and don’t like. Short-form branded content works very well for us.
On TV, we focus more on the urban audience. We have a reach of almost 10 million consumers on Facebook. We also make sure that you can find some important TV episodes on our digital assets too for consumption as and when required. Our massive digital footprint becomes a very nice proposition for our advertisers.

How is the content created for television and digital? Does the brand come on board first and then the content is created or is it vice versa?

To be honest, largely its vice versa. We create an idea first. We sit with some of our brands. If we feel the idea would work we take it to our partners who we think will do justice to the idea.

Of all the web and television shows created, Intern Diaries had a different approach. It showcased the inside workings of the magazine and had fictional as well as real characters. How was the idea formed and how well has that worked?

We wanted to create an original series which gives a sneak-peek in to the life of an intern. We also wanted to portray the challenges one goes through during their internship phase. Incidents that we portray in these series are inspired by real-life incidents that took place in our offices. We wanted to create content that resonates with our audience and this is something most of them relate with. Also what’s interesting is that the entire team in the series is actually the team of Grazia. So with Intern Diaries, we have already garnered close to 5 million views and I’m sure that over time the numbers will double.

With four shows already been launched this year, what are the plans for the rest of the year across brands. Will there be more content production or plans for any digital IPs like for Filmfare there is Filmfare Short Film Awards?

We’re planning to launch at least 10 more shows this year. Mostly on TV. We’re looking at launching interesting fiction-based shows, some of which are currently developing. We’re looking at creating digital IPs around Bollywood, social media, etc.

Has there been a positive change in the group's revenue through digital content?

Yes of course, the whole reason behind doing this was obviously to basically ensure that there is a boost in our revenue. Last year branded content was about 5% of our revenue. This year, we

plan to make digital and long-form content to be at least 25% of our overall revenue and we are very well on the path of doing that as we already have interesting branded content video deals with some of the largest advertisers. Now as we do more and more, compared to last year where we mainly had ideas, basis our offerings and digital showcase, today more and more brands are realising our capability as platform agnostic content creators and hence we have a lot of incoming conversations that are happening. I am very sure, this year digital will be at least 25% of our revenue and when I say 25%, I am not saying the exact figures but it will surely be a double-digit.
What are the other business areas and priorities that will drive WWM as we go forward?

We’ll look at innovating solutions for our print business. We have large events IP and we’re looking at growing that. Short-form content and long-form native content are also important areas for us.

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