Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha & Rajiv Bansal launch new-age media firm Opoyi
In an exclusive chat with exchange4media, former HT Digital Streams leaders Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha & Rajiv Bansal talk about the aim to build the world's most trusted platform for information
Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha and Rajiv Bansal turn entrepreneurs with the launch of their new-age media firm, Opoyi which will bring together the best of content and technology
She has led content for some of the biggest digital brands in the country, including NDTV Convergence and Times Internet, while he has helped build iconic digital products like Web TV, Xbox, Google TV during his 20 years at the Silicon Valley. More recently, Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha, ex-Chief Content Officer, HT Digital Streams, and Rajiv Bansal, ex-CEO, HT Digital Streams, changed the face of the digital arm of the 100-year-old media company; in their words they “doubled audiences across properties like Livemint.com and Livehindustan.com and grew Hindustantimes.com by 50 per cent in the last year and tripled revenues in two years”.
Now, ending weeks of speculation on where the two leaders were headed next, Jha and Bansal told exchange4media in an exclusive chat that they were venturing together on the entrepreneurial path with Opoyi, a new-age media start-up because they strongly believe that traditional media companies are not capable of disrupting digital media audiences going forward.
Decoding what Opoyi stands for, Co-founder Rajiv Bansal says, “Opoyi stands for Opinion of you and I. It goes with our base philosophy that the opinion of everyone matters as long as it is authentic.”
Co-founder Nilanjana Bhaduri Jha adds that with Opoyi they aim to build the world's most trusted platform for information, bringing to users reliable and accurate content. “At one end, traditional media companies provide a good level of quality control but have biases and limited content. On the other hand, there are social networks, which provide multiple viewpoints and unlimited content but have no quality control or relevance, and yet viewers looking for more content turn to them which leads to the dissemination of fake news. The consumer wants unlimited content but also expects it to be trustworthy and authentic,” says Jha.
Explaining how Opoyi solves this problem, Bansal says, “So, we are marrying trustworthiness and authenticity of traditional media companies with the unlimited nature of content that can be generated by users. We are also adding algorithms to crowd-source fact checking and bias so that every piece of content in Opoyi can be accurately tagged for authenticity and viewpoint. We are supplementing this with the world’s most flexible content team to generate content across formats in a timely manner. We are looking to go across all international geographies and international languages.”
Apart from its own content team, Opoyi will have what they like to call "influentials" on the platform who will create content. Jha and Bansal are roping in around 250 influentials for go-live. Anyone can contribute and create their own audiences and the content's reach will depend on its trustworthiness and relevance. The Opoyi team will give them the support they need for taking it to different languages by creating packages of content around it, if they find it is authentic and will go viral. If a particular piece of content created is fake then through fact checking and advanced algorithms on their platform, and crowdsourcing factors like trust and bias, the guilty content will be weeded out even before it reaches readers. All content will be personalised to each individual end user’s preferences. So Jha and Bansal aim to combine deep content expertise with deep technology expertise through Opoyi.
Interestingly, they are also open to having content from other media organizations on their platform and are giving them the opportunity to monetize it too, depending on how popular their content gets on Opoyi. However, Jha is quick to point out that they are not a news content aggregator like an inshorts or Dailyhunt.
While the duo have a skeletal staff in place, Bansal and Jha haven’t decided whether to bootstrap their start-up or get outside funding. They will have both the subscription model as well as the ad model on their platform for revenue generation.
Summing it up, Bansal says: “Between the two of us we have expertise in technology, content and user experience and thus we are looking at bringing to the audiences a new-age media company. Our goal is to empower anybody and not just journalists to contribute to content, and go on to become incredibly influential on our platform and then create powerful information repositories that people across the world can benefit from.”
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