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The Pocket Aces Series (Part 2)

“SRK’s [Yes, Shah Rukh Khan] digital team reached out to us when they were looking to create some interesting digital content around his movie, Fan… The video ended up doing some 3 million views, completely organically…”

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Photo Credit : Screenshot via Facebook.com, Screenshot via Facebook.com,

The Pocket Aces Series (Part 2)
The Pocket Aces Series (Part 2)
The Pocket Aces Series (Part 2)

The digital media production company reaches 25 to 30 million unique viewers each week. Pocket Aces Pictures calls Ashwin Suresh, Anirudh Pandita and Aditi Shrivastava its cofounders. We speak to Ashwin in this series.

How did you get Shah Rukh Khan in your promotional videos?

Funnily enough, it was the other way around - SRK got us in his promotional video! SRK’s digital team reached out to us when they were looking to create some interesting digital content around his movie, Fan. It was a very tight timeline; they reached out to us on a Thursday, 8 days before the film’s release, and we conceptualized and scripted the idea in just 24 hours.

We filmed the video the next day, a Saturday, and released the video two days later, on Monday. So we somehow managed to create something out of nothing in barely 4 days. The results were tremendous and totally vindicated our team’s efforts. The video ended up doing some 3 million views, completely organically, and SRK was gracious enough to share it from his social platforms so we ended up reaching a lot of his loyal fans, who embraced the video and helped it spread further.

Tell us about the economics – how much can a digital media company earn? How does it compare to TV channels’ earnings?

The Indian digital media ecosystem is in its infancy. At this stage, it is completely advertiser driven with little or no subscription revenue. There are a few other revenue streams like syndication and merchandising, but those are negligible too. There are only a handful of individual creators and content companies, a small but rapidly growing audience, and it is only when this nascent industry grows that the economics will begin to compare to TV.

The TV business is primarily a reach business. TV channels, especially the GECs have tremendous distribution power, and they can charge high prices to allow advertisers to reach these audiences. However, a lot of this reach is measured by extrapolation and that isn’t always accurate; therefore advertisers can only learn so much about their audiences from TV data. It works well for larger campaigns that require frequency and repetition.

The real power of digital content is that there are various metrics that can be measured with 100% accuracy and that provides a lot of relevant information to advertisers. The reactions are instant, the communication is two-way, and the real-time interaction with customers is just impossible to replicate on traditional mediums. To make things sweeter, the cost of distribution can be as low as zero if you run a native advertising campaign with a premium content company like Pocket Aces.

As more advertisers start to understand the various ways to target their customers effectively through digital campaigns, and as content companies continue to educate brands about how to make sense of a host of new information, we will see a shift in spending towards digital - and that’s when the numbers will start to get really big.

All that said, Pocket Aces, through our 3 content brands, FilterCopy, Dice Media, and Gobble, already reaches 25-30 million unique people each week! That’s much larger than several of the smaller TV channels - the youth focused channels or the niche channels cannot boast these sorts of numbers. Given their bloated cost structures and expensive distribution, they will be the first to succumb to the competition brought on by digital media.

Part 1 of this series is here.



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