ScoopWhoop released Sneh, a 20-minute crime thriller short, on its website on Friday. The film seems to be the entertainment site’s first foray into longer-form standalone content. Sneh was an official selection at the MAMI film festival in Mumbai this year. It joins a selection of web series commissioned by the site. ScoopWhoop’s video strategy seems to revolve mostly around web series and mobile video verticals, so this is a significant addition to their portfolio. The film’s chronology is backwards, that is, it starts with the most recent events and works backward, much like Momentum.
ScoopWhoop’s web series (and now its film) join a genre that has recently proliferated: tightly budgeted digital content. Even ALT Balaji, which positions itself as a premium content provider, seems to have shows with production values similar to web conent created by groups like TVF. This type of content is easier to make a quick return on, especially for business models that depend on ad revenue or inexpensive subscriptions. Interestingly, BuzzFeed, ScoopWhoop’s largest competitor, has stuck with Facebook and short-form mobile verticals as its primary approach, even as it entered into a deal to do a web series in the US earlier this year.
Meanwhile, quick on the heels of TVF co-founder Arunabh Kumar facing sexual harassment allegations, ScoopWhoop co-founder Suparn Pandey was accused of continually harassing a female employee over the course of two years. The company said last month that it was investigating the allegation, which was followed up with a formal police report. The employee also said that co-founders Sattvik Mishra and Sriparna Tikekar neglected her complaints and even abetted Pandey in abusing her.