Mumbai: OTT platform Ullu, launched in 2018, won’t transfer away from creating edgy grownup content material, mentioned founder Vibhu Agarwal at an occasion held just lately. As an alternative, Agarwal has launched a Hindi normal leisure channel (GEC) ‘Atrangii’ accompanied by a catch-up OTT platform to cater to the household viewers.
“After I entered the OTT house, I sought to create content material that’s contemporary. All OTT platforms have been creating the identical type of content material, whether or not it’s a suspense or a thriller. As a businessman, I wished to enter a white house that nobody has addressed earlier than,” mentioned Vibhu Agarwal.
The platform had discovered itself on the incorrect facet of public opinion after it was accused of that includes ‘edgy’ and ‘sleazy’ content material to its audiences. It was reported that Agarwal was shifting away from creating edgy grownup content material with a Ullu 2.0 technique after the ministry of knowledge and broadcasting launched The Data Expertise (Middleman Pointers and Digital Media Ethics Code) Guidelines, 2021.
Agarwal mentioned, “We now have constructed a sure viewers and subscription base, primarily based on the type of content material that ULLU makes. The content material isn’t incorrect as a result of there are folks watching it. We’ve provided a buffet of exhibits together with horror, suspense, thriller and introduced many good actors into the ecosystem with exhibits like ‘Tandoor,’ ‘Peshawar,’ ‘Cyanide’ and others.”
“That’s why we’re launching our second OTT platform and getting into the GEC house that’s going to deliver each stay and catch-up content material for audiences,” he added. “The content material on this platform might be separate from ULLU and might be extra consistent with GEC content material. This won’t be a ‘saas-bahu’ fashion GEC as a result of once more we’re taking a look at an unaddressed white house. As an alternative, the channel will function restricted sequence that can give attention to the standard of content material.”
Agarwal mentioned that the ministry of knowledge and broadcasting has been open minded on the subject of the type of content material served by OTT gamers. “The IT Guidelines that got here out on 24 February 2021 don’t bar OTTs from showcasing any type of content material. They’ve solely requested for the classification of content material the place OTT platforms ought to showcase a disclaimer on the character of content material that they’re displaying. They’ve additionally mandated the creation of a self-regulatory physique for addressing grievances on the subject of content material on OTT platforms.”
The pandemic led to a rise in content material consumption on OTT platforms. Agarwal noticed that the three-month launch slate of OTT platforms was condensed to 15-25 days to cater to the demand for content material. ULLU platform itself ensured to launch a brand new net authentic a minimum of a couple of times per week. Going ahead, he acknowledged that the platform has a plan to launch as much as three originals per week.
Agarwal predicts that, whereas regional OTT platforms are subscription-driven companies proper now, they’ll all swap to an advertising-led mannequin as a result of intense competitors within the OTT house. “Once you talk about investing in regional content material, most nationwide OTT platforms are solely investing in South content material as a result of they can monetise it simply. I consider that regional OTT platforms that serve content material in languages similar to Gujarati, Punjabi, Haryanvi, Bhojpuri and so forth. should grow to be promoting video-on-demand platforms. Solely the worldwide gamers with deep pockets will be capable to stay subscription-driven. Most Indian owned platforms should shift to an AVOD mannequin whether or not they cater to Hindi-speaking audiences or another regional language.”
“Ullu content material might be distributed in worldwide markets as properly however not by way of the app,” acknowledged Agarwal. “There’s a giant worldwide Indian viewers that want to watch our content material which is dubbed in English. The issue is to activate fee gateways in worldwide markets. The viewership and subscription exterior of India is proscribed due to few fee choices. Additionally, most of our consumption happens on cellular platforms, whereas within the US and UK cellular information isn’t as low-cost. Audiences there watch content material on gadgets similar to Roku which might be extra well-liked. That’s why we’re planning to distribute our content material by way of native businesses.”
Agarwal famous that 80 per cent of OTT platforms don’t pay sufficient consideration to know-how which is the largest enabler of OTT person expertise. “The app ought to be person pleasant and each function ought to work,” he mentioned.