Regional, non-fiction & docus to be the focus for 2020: Sameer Saxena, TVF
Sameer Saxena, The Viral Fever Originals, CCO & Head, shares insights on the new categories the company is planning to enter, the importance of branded content for TVF & new shows in the pipeline
Founded seven years ago by Arunabh Kumar, The Viral Fever (TVF) is among the first YouTube channels in India, which started producing web-series. TVF is home to some popular series like Permanent Roommates, Pitchers, Kota Factory, Yeh Meri Family and Tripling.
As 2019 comes to an end, we caught up with The Viral Fever (TVF) Originals, CCO and Head, Sameer Saxena, who shared that TVF will be entering new categories and will be launching regional content soon across three languages and how the focus will be on creating new non-fiction content.
“We are going to make shows in regional languages and to start with Marathi, Telugu and Tamil and hopefully will expand to more languages,” he says.
According to Saxena, earlier, the focus was to set up a good strong base in the Hindi Speaking Market (HSM) and then slowly start expanding to regional markets. “We don’t want to make shows for the sake of making them in other regional languages. We wanted to get it right and now when we start off we wanted to have some good material. We have very good ideas and couldn't resist working on them.”
Another focus area for TVF will be non-fiction programming on digital, he said. The platform has already launched two shows this year and tries to expand the category by launching more shows in 2020.
Apart from non-fiction, we are also exploring documentary space, which has not been tapped yet by the platform. They also plan to launch around 15-20 original shows next year.
“There's a lot of non-fiction happening on TV but not that much on digital. We thought this is something we need to explore,” Saxena said.
In 2019, the platform has produced shows for many OTT platforms, including MX Player, SonyLIV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Speaking about 2019, Saxena said the year has been phenomenal for the company. The digital media company worked with almost all the OTT platforms this year. Starting with Immature on MX Player, they went on to collaborate with SonyLiv for Tripling season 2 and then Gullak.
“Another show called Kota Factory was one of our best shows. We did this show for TVFPlay and YouTube and for a brand Unacademy. We also licensed some shows to Netflix, College Romance and other shows. Last year, we worked with only two OTT platforms but this year our content has gone out to all the OTTs,” he added.
The platform also does a lot of branded content, one of them being Kota Factory. “We have developed an expertise on brand association and we have been doing these for the past three-four years now. We clearly are the leaders in that because brands understand that TVF uses that integration beautifully to convey the stories that they want to. We have always had phenomenal success working with brands and that's something that will continue to explore the future as well. It's another line of business for us. There are stories that may not fit in the OTT space and if it fits in our brand brief, then we will collaborate with our brand and work on it,” Saxena said while signing off.
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