Cooldose.com, a venture started by Srinivas Gopal, former GM (Marketing VAS) at Idea Cellular Ltd, has launched its snacky content on mobile with aggregator Apalya, and cable operator DigiCable. The company has created original short 1-2 minute shows in Hinglish (colloquial for Hindi + English) featuring TV anchors Raghu Ram (from MTV Roadies) and Parizad Kolah (host of the The Great Indian Laughter Challenge Fame).
Cooldose is a self funded venture, with Gopal holding the majority stake, alongwith a few partners. They’ve also tied up with Tonic Media, a company that creates content for the web, and does SEO and SMO work. Prior to his stint at Idea Cellular, Gopal has worked with MTV India (as Director, Digital) and Times Internet Limited* (as Chief Manager).
Gopal said that creating content for digital and mobile requires a dedicated production team which understands the nuances of medium, and the limitations of devices and bandwidth. “We conceptualize shows and the format, and finalize the stars. On the web and mobile, where the audience tends to be 70% male and 30% female, and we’re trying to change the linguistic tonality of the content to give it a broader appeal. Parizad allow us to get more of a connect with the broader audience, and larger GEC appeal. We’ve also had to cater to the existing audience, which is male and metro centric, which is youth driven, where we thought that Raghu Ram would be an ambassador.”
They’ve created a show of 16-17 webisodes called Raghu Ki Vatshala, featuring Raghu Ram, which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at reality TV shows, in a 1-2 minute format, keeping in mind the sensitivies of devices and bandwidth constraints. Another 10-12 shows are in the pipeline, on Bollywood, Cricket, with Stand Up Comedy, Office Workouts, and an Online VJ Hunt.
Also see Daily Dose, and StreetBeats: much of it reminds me of quick takes on MTV or Channel V. Frankly, there must be a lot of old content that those two channels could repurpose for distribution on mobile. As an aside, I’m still waiting for someone to do an Indian version of QI, though. Brilliance – this (warning, once you start watching QI, it’s difficult to stop)
Distribution And Monetization
On Apalya, Cooldose.com is a paid streaming service, and receives a revenue share of the subscription fees. “Generally mobile TV viewings are no more than 5-7 minutes a day, and our show, which is 5-7 minutes, fits into that,” Gopal told MediaNama. On Digicable, which reaches 24 million households, Cooldose is syndicating its content for a show called India Talkes. Additionally, it has the content online on Cooldose.com and on YouTube. Right now, Gopal says, “our focus is on establishing CoolDose.com as a brand, we’re going all out and distributing. We’ll look to increase pageviews, get the content strategy right, and increase our relevance.
Currently, the shows are advertiser funded and subsidised, and no CPM deals since “traffic based models are far away”. But over time, Gopal expects monetization to come from paid medium like mobile. “We will look at distribution through mobile value added services, and we’ll do transaction through e-commerce and m-commerce, with branded goods and merchandise, which our brand ambassadors will create and promote for us.”
“Money will be a challenge, and we don’t see ourselves being hugely profitable,” Gopal says, “but as long as we hold on and cover our costs, it can evolve. You become profitable once you cross a critical mass of traffic and/or transaction.” It’s been three and a half months since launch, and Gopal says the company has an order book of Rs. 75 lakh.
Disclosure: Times Internet Ltd is an advertiser with MediaNama