We intend to spend US $50mn on originals: Rishika Lulla, CEO, Eros Digital

OTT platform, Eros Now is strengthening its original content strategy with plans to roll out more than 10 original shows. Rishika Lulla, CEO, Eros Digital opens up on the same

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Jan 22, 2018 8:56 AM

Eros Now, the digital platform of Eros International, will not leave any stone unturned to be one of the prominent B2C players in India’s expanding OTT landscape as it’s looking to spend $50 million on its original shows. It is scheduled to go live with more than 10 originals in 2018, starting from second quarter (which has been in the pipeline for quite sometime). Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, Eros Digital, shares, “We intend to spend $50 million on originals. We are breaking away from the mould from what’s shown on television and deemed as original content. The scale, in terms of production will be nothing short of what people would experience cinematically.”

Without further divulging names of the actors and production houses it has partnered with, Singh adds that one of the multi-starrer shows will feature 10 popular faces. “For others we have roped in National-Award-winning directors, actors and writers. On top of that we have started our own Writers’ Room at Eros now. We are churning out a lot of concepts month-on-month from seed-level. That way we are able to tell stories in our desired way and scale.”

It has already gone live with its first original short film called ‘Toffee’ starring actor Ayushamann Khurrana on January 17. They will have series ranging anywhere between 22 to 45 minutes an episode and will have both short and long format films. With this goal, Singh is hopeful to roll out two original shows every month next year. “With the launch of our originals India will be a very strong B2C market,” Singh mentions. Like other OTT players regional shows will not be overlooked as they have a couple of them in the pipeline starting with Tamil. As of September 2017, Eros Now had rights to over 10,000 films, and 250,000 music tracks from 13 different labels.

The other focus area is its B2C subscriber base both national and international. Currently Eros Now’s paid subscriber base stood at five million users at the end of December 31, 2017. Singh mentions that the number has increased by 150 per cent year-on-year up from 2 million at the end of December 2016. Meanwhile its total number of registered users at the end of 2017 was 80 million. With this growth rate, Singh is confident that Eros Now will reach up to 6-8 million paid subscribers by March 18. She says,“By March 2019, we are targeting to be double of that.”

Eros Now is also working more closely with telecom players on whom it relies for digital distribution. It has tie-ups with Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and others. Singh adds, “We will be doing interesting things with our telecom and other partners to strive more growth for Eros Now subscribers.” Previous week the OTT platform has renewed its platform integration partnership with Reliance Industries Limited.

On marketing front, Singh pointed out that 2018 will see a lot of marketing activities including a new brand campaign touching across different mediums. “We were actively marketing on digital for the past year. Now you will see it go beyond that. The brand campaign will come before the second quarter, ” she signs off.

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