In conversation with the business head - MX TakaTak Janhavi Parikh and Abhishek Joshi - Head of Marketing and Business Partnerships
The Indian Premier League is live and the players are engaged in close encounters on the field. Off the field, they have plenty of time in the bio-bubble. This opens up a new horizon that otherwise remains dull in India - "Off-field" content.
MX TakaTak has signed a deal with seven of the eight teams as "Official Short Form Video Partner." This deal gives the Times Internet-backed short-form video platform access to behind-the-scenes content like players dancing in the hotel, coaches giving a pep-talk... These pieces of content, when shared across social media platforms helps MX TakaTak reach out to a wider audience.
Apart from driving brand awareness and the promotional opportunities, it is a content partnership as well. "The IPL teams have started creating a lot of social media content to keep passionate fans engaged even when the players are off the field. That is where it became a perfect fit for us. Most of the teams have an MX TakaTak account now and are creating content," shares Janhavi Parikh, business head, MX TakaTak.
MX TakaTak is a user-generated content platform where most of what is consumed is organically created by the users. Engaging content is what fuels the creation, says Parikh. "The association is driving creation already and that is one of the critical objectives," she adds.
For the MX TakaTak users, key players from Mumbai Indians have done a live session where questions were asked by fans and answered by the sportsmen. Over the next couple of months there would be many more such sessions, informs Parikh.
She also believes that such initiatives will help MX TakaTak penetrate into territories it is not yet popular in. The seven franchises are from seven different states, "We believe that this marketing initiative will help us increase our user acquisition in these states," asserts Parikh.
Dailyhunt's short video app Josh, Sharechat's Moj, Mitron, Trell, Chingari, Roposo are MX TakaTak's direct competitors. All of them are on a mission to fill the gap left by the ban of the Chinese app TikTok in India. "When TikTok was banned in India, they roughly had around 200 million monthly active users, in the next year or so, we will emerge to be the largest player and then grow from there," says Parikh.
MX TakaTak, according to the business head, has around 150 million monthly active users. All the short-form video platforms depend on advertising for revenue. While there are plenty of them, none of them have earned the trust of the marketers. Media planners are still unsure if these are "brand-safe environments" to promote clients on.
"Currently, we have taken the call to go slow on monetisation," informs Parikh. However, MX TakaTak continues to get brand campaigns or ‘hashtag challenges’ (as they’re popularly known as) through which the brands target engagement. In-feed advertising, live-streaming monetisation, social commerce are the few other tools through which TakaTak intends to rake in the moolah. "In the last couple of quarters," the platform will open up its inventory, informs Parikh.
Most of the users on MX TakaTak are between 18 and 25 years old. Hindi dominates the content creation and consumption at this stage and Parikh sees that as an opportunity to grow in the regional pockets using different Indian languages.
The company has raised Rs 100 crore to incentivise the creators through various channels - one of them being starring on a MX Player webseries. The idea, as shared by Parikh, is to encourage creators who believe that short-form video creation can be a full-time career option.
Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad are the teams that MX TakaTak has associated with.
"We’ve structured the IPL association exclusively for our viewer base by creating experiences centred around the teams and all the fun that happens off the field. We are making it more interactive and engaging with the help of #KhelTakaTak challenges, videos, meet and greets with cricketers, contests etc," shares Abhishek Joshi - Head of Marketing and Business Partnerships at MX Player.
"Our association with the teams reiterates our commitment to bring quality, engaging and relatable content on the platform. The effort is to extend the frenzy by bringing the favourite teams/players on your phone screen and to create engagement with them," Joshi concludes.