Face off: ErosNow, a natural extension for us, says Rishika Lulla Singh

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Published: November 3, 2015 12:37:12 AM

By offering a multitude of experiences and catering to each individual’s demand for flexibility—in timing, type and volume of content and the place of consumption—we offer high value that users are willing to pay for

In a country where entertainment is a huge part of life, companies like Eros International Media have to keep abreast of time to understand the pulse of the audience. Its on-demand Bollywood entertainment network, ErosNow, has been gaining attention from all quarters, thanks to the growth of mobile internet and the launch of 4G technology. With the likes of Ditto TV and HotStar and international OTT services like Netflix showing interest in India, the space is only set to get racier.

By showcasing its films on ErosNow before television premieres and getting Bollywood to spread the word, the company hopes to lead in the space. In conversation with BrandWagon’s Meghna Sharma, Rishika Lulla Singh, CEO, Eros Digital discusses the changing OTT space in the country.

From the big screen (cinema) to the small one (mobile), what is the purpose behind ErosNow?

We live in a time when we want everything in the blink of an eye. The main idea behind ErosNow was to provide endless entertainment at your fingertips—anytime, anywhere. Eros as a company has had the vision to connect with audiences outside the big screen for some time now, and it is passion and dedication to this mission which has given birth to the new venture. At Eros, our core strengths lie in producing and distributing Indian content, something we have been doing for over three decades; hence we have a good understanding of the Indian consumer base and our audience’s mindset. ErosNow is the natural extension of our distribution strength.

Gone are the days of waiting for the next Friday release or for the re-run of your favourite show on TV. The mindset of “Is there something exciting coming on TV?” is being replaced by “What do I feel like watching?” We provide you with the solution: by bringing to you the very best in movies, music and television—the ultimate global Internet entertainment network.

The digital landscape is changing in the country and competition is increasing. Worried?

More people spend time online in India than ever before, sometimes even more time than they spend on TV. Internet access is gaining vast popularity among the youth as well as professionals on the go. However, the digital market in India is comparatively a new space which is growing quickly. Different players in the market are focusing on different aspects of digital—short form content or sports content, for example. Growing each of these categories actually pushes the overall growth of the sector. So we at Eros don’t think of others in the digital space as competition, but rather as complementary services that can help increase digital reach and growth in India.

International digital players, similar to domestic players, help the entire digital economy and landscape grow.

Having more players in the market increases awareness of digital content consumption and trends, so it is great for India to have a variety of digital providers offering value-added services to consumers.

The company will be building an in-app payment mechanism. However, television channels have been struggling to increase their subscription rates. Do you think people are willing to pay for content online?

Our goal is to provide a service that is customisable and adaptable to user needs and preferences. I believe there is a very large and loyal audience that is willing to pay for high quality, cutting-edge content—whether that is the traditional media space of Bollywood or TV serials or anchored on original concepts in categories such as drama, fiction and comedy—the best of traditional and new entertainment is what ErosNow promises in a nutshell. Not only do consumers have access to the content that they want but also the ability to stream it seamlessly and instantly at their convenience. I think allowing for this open access without ‘an appointment’ as you have in the TV sector is a valuable feature and customers are willing to pay for it. By offering a multitude of experiences and catering to each individual’s demand for flexibility—in timing, type and volume of content and, most importantly, the place of consumption—we offer high value that users are willing to pay for.

Apart from movies, you will also have exclusive shows. What kind of shows can one expect and which production houses have you roped in?

Our web shows/originals will be across genres, competing with the production values of a film and will be helmed by the best industry talent. One of the flagship shows, —The Client, is an action-packed thriller starring Bipasha Basu in the lead, directed by Rohan Sippy. Ponniyin Selvan is an epic period drama based on a popular Tamil historical novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy. This array of long-format shows adds to the library of short-format content that already exists on ErosNow. We also plan to produce content across several genres including reality shows, adaptations of hit international series, and original productions spanning drama, comedy and thrillers. Full seasons of these shows series would be available exclusively across ErosNow. We are constantly evaluating and re-evaluating content based on what people want to view digitally.

Through ErosNow who is the company going to target?

We want to make ErosNow something that anyone and everyone in India can use and more importantly access and enjoy. Are you a Bollywood lover? We have the best films available. Do you love TV shows? You can watch them on demand. We will be offering originals, exclusive to ErosNow. As long as you are in the mood to be entertained, you are our TG and we promise to deliver.

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