WittyFeed will probably be a sub providing underneath its new OTT platform, STAGE
Additional, WittyFeed will even be rebranded as ‘Nukkad by STAGE’
Launched in 2019, STAGE is at present in beta stage with solely Haryanvi content material
“All the three of us (STAGE cofounders) have been born and brought up in very small villages and towns of India. Even when we were serving American users, our story was always about building a startup from Bharat. And, which is where the idea started to turn up in our heads that we would do much better if we were to genuinely solve for Bharat,” stated WittyFeed founder Vinay Singhal whereas speaking in regards to the firm’s latest pivot to turn into a dialect-based OTT platform — STAGE.
In accordance with Singhal, the change in imaginative and prescient was led by numerous market forces that impacted the corporate’s earlier enterprise mannequin. This pushed the corporate to rethink its imaginative and prescient and the main focus going ahead.
WittyFeed was based by Parveen Singhal, Vinay Singhal and Shashank Vaishnav in 2014. The corporate has raised a Pre Sequence A spherical in 2017 from a clutch of buyers together with former Fb director Anand Chandrasekaran; HCL Applied sciences VP Apurva Chamaria and Innov8 cofounder Dr Ritesh Malik amongst others.
Whereas WittyFeed as a product had focussed on infotainment targetted in direction of ‘Bharat’ final 12 months, the corporate additionally felt the necessity for a brand new identify that these customers can relate to and thus the necessity to rebrand WittyFeed to Nukkad, which interprets to neighbourhood in English.
STAGE: A Dialect-Primarily based OTT Platform
For its OTT play, STAGE determined to go in a unique route than simply focussing on regional languages. The startup is deeper connections with reveals in dialects reminiscent of Haryanvi and others.
Most OTT platforms are creating such leisure as a result of it will get viral simply however with everybody making related content material there’s solely a lot a person can eat or recall. Singhal stated that over time, the startup realised that the definition of virality has to alter. As a substitute of making dumb leisure content material, the virality has to turn into about creating worth pushed content material for customers.
“STAGE differentiates itself from other Bharat-focused OTT platforms by creating high quality informational content instead of dumb or sexual content that is being offered on existing Indian focused,” stated Singhal.
STAGE will provide distinctive and unique content material in native dialects reminiscent of Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Bundelkhandi, Bhojpuri, Konkani and so on by artwork types reminiscent of comedy, folks, poetry, storytelling and motivational content material. STAGE is at present in beta stage for the previous eight months and solely options Haryanvi content material. The total launch of the platform is anticipated to occur within the coming months.
From WittyFeed To Nukkad By STAGE
Nukkad will proceed to deal with producing information-led fiction content material. “We do monologue premium content but the idea is to drive dialogue out of that monologue that we created. You can think of it as ‘Last week with John Oliver’, but for Bharat,” added Singhal.
The identify is impressed by on a regular basis conversations of ‘Bharatwasis’ (Indians in semi-urban and rural areas) that usually occur at native tea stalls, neighborhood conferences, avenue corners. It gives informative but entertaining and relatable content material (quick movies) within the type of fictional character-led reveals underneath leisure, politics, well being, faux information, tech, to tradition, sports activities, way of life, and even finance.
Nukkad goals to deliver world-class smart and satire-based content material on the strains of fashionable Comedy Central reveals by Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah to Indians in languages which are inclusive and acquainted. Together with bringing fiction content material, Nukkad goals to fill the void for knowledge-driven content material tackling advanced points reminiscent of monetary literacy, present affairs and extra.
Exhibits on Nukkad by STAGE embrace ‘Bubbly’ (devoted to film buffs), ‘Raja Beta’ (tackles the advanced subject of economic literacy), ‘Raju Panchayati’ (a personality with an opinion on all the things underneath the solar), ‘Nicky AIMS’ (a health-centric present) and extra.
In July 2020, Nukkad claims to have witnessed a attain of over 108 Mn and an engagement of three Mn throughout its platforms. Increasing on the method of selecting these matters, Singhal stated we choose matters which might usually appear very critical, boring, and a few would even marvel how can anybody discuss it to Bharat and why. The corporate believes in creating content material that may present worth to the person. Persons are watching quite a lot of movies on a regular basis and if a platform desires to catch their consideration the content material has to create worth over time.
“For instance, the topic of financial literacy is boring for even you and me. And we probably represent that top 10% user that we’re talking about. So for bharat users, it can be a much more boring and alienating topic. Nobody has ever talked to them about financial literacy because everyone thinks why do they need to know about it. But maybe they need it the most. So we try to make these topics interesting for them,” stated Singhal.
These reveals on Nukkad have been sponsored by manufacturers, who accomplice with the present for a few reveals to ascertain themselves as a thought chief, and produce extra Bharat customers to their platform. Some notable partnerships embrace SBI YONO and Insurance coverage Samadhan.
Additional, with this pivot, the corporate has outlined its audience as everybody on the web minus the highest 10% customers. The corporate is just not defining Bharat by cities, as a result of there are lots of people from Bharat who stay in Delhi, Mumbai, Benagluru and equally, quite a lot of them stay in Indore, Jalandhar or Kota as properly.
One other main driver for this rebranding was the realisation that earlier than Chinese language apps had been banned in India, the preferred content material platforms in Bharat had been firms like Weibo, TikTok, Helo, which had been distributing sleazy content material within the identify of UGC or person generated content material.
“So, we figured that if I am Bharat, my parents are Bharat, and my family are Bharat. We are definitely looking for better content. There is a market which is looking to consume high quality sensible content but it’s just that nobody’s creating it,” stated Singhal. That’s precisely what the corporate is making an attempt to unravel underneath this new imaginative and prescient, he added.
Put up the Chinese language app ban and rising nationalist sentiment in India, many vernacular short-video platforms like Chingari, Mitron, Bolo Indya and Trello have began gaining recognition within the nation. Nonetheless, STAGE is completely different from these platforms in the truth that all its content material is PGC (professional-generated content material), written and shot by its group of creators. Given all of the reveals are monologues and are normally shot inside properties, the corporate claims to not have big manufacturing prices, and it additionally helps in sustaining social distancing and restrict disruption to manufacturing.
With WittyFeed having already been round for six years, STAGE has large sneakers to fill and that is maybe the perfect time to deal with Indian content material. It stays to be seen whether or not STAGE can replicate the viral success that made WittyFeed a world identify.