Now making web shows: Food and e-commerce apps - Hindustan Times
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Now making web shows: Food and e-commerce apps

Hindustan Times | By
Nov 23, 2019 06:28 PM IST

Companies like Flipkart and Zomato have started creating their own Originals — short, snackable video content to help build brand presence.

Choosing what to watch was never more difficult, and adding to the options are two new and unlikely entrants — Flipkart and Zomato.

Zomato’s originals are all connected in some way to food. Episodes are 3 to 15 minutes long.
Zomato’s originals are all connected in some way to food. Episodes are 3 to 15 minutes long.

Both have launched videos sections over the past two months. Zomato is preparing 18 original shows. Flipkart has designed its originals around the genres of comedy, reality TV, drama and nostalgia.

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Most of the shows will be episodic, with most episodes between 5 and 15 minutes long. Their target, both companies say, is people accessing the internet only on their phones, and therefore looking for snack-able content.

Industry watchers say this is likely to become a popular approach. “With the rise of OTT along with cheap internet, it makes sense for more brands to become content-creators,” says brand consultant Shubho Sengupta.

It’s a great way to increase stickiness on your app, says adman and author Ambi Parameswaran.

Prakash Sikaria, vice-president of growth and monetisation at Flipkart, adds that another aim is to fill the gap between consumers in remote parts of the country and the content on offer so far.

Tennis player Sania Mirza and actor Parineeti Chopra on Flipkart’s first original, a celebrity quiz show called Backbenchers, hosted by the film director Farah Khan.
Tennis player Sania Mirza and actor Parineeti Chopra on Flipkart’s first original, a celebrity quiz show called Backbenchers, hosted by the film director Farah Khan.

ON SCREEN

Flipkart’s first original is a reality quiz show, Backbenchers, hosted by the film director Farah Khan, featuring other celebrities.

Zomato’s original shows are all connected in some way to food. “People want to watch food being made, want to learn from chefs, see inside top kitchens and explore world cuisine. The shows will offer them such journeys of discovery,” says Durga Raghunath, senior vice-president of growth at Zomato.

Zomato’s Eat like a Girl has an anchor travel the country to eat some of the most unusual food in India — silk worms, blood fry. Episodes are 13 to 15 minutes long. War and Food traces the war-time origins of everyday foods like instant noodles and energy bars. Episodes are 3 to 4 minutes long. And College Adda sees comedian Sapan Verma accompany celebrities as they return to college, meet students and try the canteen food. Episodes are 8 to 12 minutes long.

The ultimate question, in a marketplace this crowded, is will it work? “It’s one thing to run free original videos and another to compete with established players,” says Parameswaran. “So the tough question will be, can it work as a revenue model?”

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