Ahmedabad startup launches video streaming platform for vernacular content

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on July 18, 2019 Published on July 18, 2019

Ahmedabad-based vernacular content start-up, Matrubharti on Thursday announced launching of vernacular video streaming platform, Matrubharti Vishesh.

This brings a diversification for the start-up, which was initially started by providing a curated platform for content creators to publish e-books and social media content in regional languages such as Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi besides English.

Matrubharti Vishesh is a premium, exclusive content section in the Matrubharti app and website for streaming of regional theatrical plays, short films, OpenMics (live poetry recitals and stand-up comedy) and literature festivals. Users can also gain first access to newly published books under this section, a statement informed here.

Since its inception in 2015, Matrubharti has helped authors publish 26,000 e-books, which have been downloaded 7.5 million times by 700,000 readers. The platform also has over 250,000 poems in text and image format across 4 languages. Matrubharti currently has a community strength of over 750,000 with active contributors in excess of 18,000.

On the foray into video streaming space, Mahendra Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, Matrubharti said, "Videos are the most popular format of creative expression and Over-the-top (OTT) apps are riding this wave. We wanted to target and engage more with youth so that they can showcase their creativity on our platform, and also help them to connect with content in their mother tongue."

Matrubharti began experimenting with stories in short form video format since the beginning of this year with shows such as Morning Maza, Raat Ke Jazbat and curated stories under its Kahani Metro initiative which have an App Jockey (AJ) narrating the stories with a run time of about 3-5 minutes.

The content library today has over 500 such short form video stories. While a significant number of videos on the platform are User Generated Content (UGC), the company has partnered with elite authors, poets, theatre groups to source exclusive content for its Vishesh segment.

The content library has more than 10,000 videos of poetry recitals from 50+ events and over 100 videos of regional theatrical plays, making it the only other platform other than Hotstar in India to stream plays. The launch of Matrubharti Vishesh comes on the back of Matrubharti’s participation in US-based Gray Matters Capital’s digital accelerator program – GMC Calibrator.

"Since March 2019, the engagement rate on the Matrubharti app has gone up by 15-20 per cent post behavioural science interventions and increased emphasis on data driven decision making," said Omkar Kulakrni, GMC Calibrator Program Head, Gray Matters Capital. Matrubharti has set a target to reach a user base of 1.8 million by adding content in 3 more regional languages – Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam by 2020.

"In 5 years, Matrubharti is aiming for a pan-India presence with content in 21 Indian languages, and users in excess of 10 crore. We will be partnering with regional film production companies for web series with our video content," Sharma said.

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Published on July 18, 2019
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