Amidst an explosion of incredible content and an ever-expanding, large, and diverse Indian consumer base, India’s first premium rural entertainment channel, Azaad and India’s leading entertainment super app MX Player have announced a strategic partnership to enable exponential growth and bring together the linear, rural, and digital worlds together. With a belief in the ‘power of engaged connections’ and the aspiration to meet its viewers at their doorstep, Azaad and MX Player are all set to reach out to the Indian diaspora with new stories embedded in the rural fabric and culture.
Beginnen Media recently launched Azaad with its premise being ‘People First. Rural First’. MX Player, with its large and diverse audience of over 200 million monthly active users believes in ‘everytainment’ and caters to its audiences with varied entertainment palettes. This unique business move comes as a strategic content UnionShip for both brands. In an industry, where the norm is that of media conglomerates repurposing their linear content for their Over-the-top (OTT) platforms, this is the first partnership where two standalone entities have come together to leverage their strengths, create unique content, and reach wider audiences. Azaad will soon add to its repertoire original content, besides the syndicated content that is currently on air.
In recent years, OTT platforms and TV penetration had already begun changing the way the world consumed content. The pandemic and the resulting lockdowns accelerated that process manifold. According to a recent PwC report, India is currently the world’s fastest-growing OTT market and is set to become the 6th largest around the globe by 2024. Providers with the most unified viewing and search experiences will see growth. In the post-Covid world, people will prioritise their spending which will result in more freely available and easily accessible models in the long term. OTT and television will not be competing mediums but will co-exist and enable in transition for family home audiences who enjoy cohesive viewing and also offer the same entertainment experiences to audiences to enjoy content on-the-go.
Highlighting the partnership, Bharat Kumar Ranga, Managing Director, Beginnen Media said, “The UnionShip with MX Player offers a seamless consumer experience on both mediums as we attempt to be innovators at the intersection of TV and digital. Azaad is for people with rural mindsets where people access entertainment on both TV and the internet. We needed to find a right anchor that compliments Azaad on the internet. MX Player immediately aligned to our vision as we share a commonality of consumer centricity that will assist us with our expansion goals for Azaad and MX Player. MX valued our idea and intent and Azaad loved their youthfulness, vigour, hunger for growth and uncanny consumer centricity.”
“For consumers, MX and Azaad will appear like one common platform. This reflects Beginnen Media’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to using our experience of innovation as the roadmap for propelling the industry forward to an all-new way of doing business,” Ranga added.
Elaborating on the collaboration, Karan Bedi – CEO, MX Group said, “This association will transcend traditional TV and digital OTT to drive synergies and foster growth for both players, by creating innovative new content and catering to a larger audience set. As a platform that can reach consumers at every touchpoint, this strategic partnership with Azaad is sure to entertain the masses and drive more engagement for both brands.”
Rachin Khanijo, Chief Marketing Officer, Beginnen Media said, “We believe that this distinct UnionShip with MX Player will surely be the best manner in which two standalone brands together will unlock the power of TV and OTT in an integrated manner by leveraging synergies to reach and engage with maximum viewers. We have approached this association creatively as well as strategically to ensure that there’s a strong audience fit and have planned on scaling it with projected metrics of what TV and digital are expected to deliver – both at an attributed and holistic level.”
Mansi Shrivastav, SVP and Head, Content Acquisitions & Alliances, MX Player said, “This UnionShip compliments MX strategically – adding many hues of entertainment to our diverse content offering and bringing with it fresh, young, and new flavours reflecting the ethos of today’s rural Indian fabric. With this distinctive slate, we are well poised to cater to every palette and are excited that this association with Beginnen Media’s premium heartland entertainment channel Azaad will enhance viewership and aid market expansion.”
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