In the age of YouTube, do we really need another platform to showcase trailers and music videos? If you're in India, the belief seems to be "yes". Last year, we talked about an app called Flickbay, where you can see the latest news about Bollywood, and even trailers, music videos, as well as upcoming films and what's out on DVD. Now, a new platform called Dekkho promises to be the first destination where you can watch Bollywood trailers and other 'snackable' content before all this stuff makes it way to other platforms like YouTube.
According to Vinay Pillai, co-founder, Dekkho, the idea is to be an exclusive platform for a short window of around a week, with content from any number of creators.
"There are so many studio-led OTT services, so we wanted to be the first and only premium aggregator of content, with well curated, produced content," says Pillai. "We don't make content, and work on recommendations instead. The user gets very clean cut content that is premiered first on Dekkho, and we window it for a week before it goes on to YouTube."
The goal, he explains, is to give users content that's of short duration - typically around two to ten minutes - and provide a "premium" experience, for free. Dekkho can be accessed via the Web, Android, iOS, and even Amazon Fire TV.
Pillai says that Dekkho also supports offline content, including ads. "When the user downloads the content, the ad is also downloaded," he explains. "What this allows advertisers to do is to not just connect to users with great data plans, but users in smaller cities and towns as well, in tier-II and tier-III cities. Digital penetration for those cities is still relatively low."
For now, Dekkho's content is mostly led by songs from Indian films. The company also has videos from Indian content houses such as OML and Culture Machine, along with Sony Music's global catalogue, Pillai says, adding that Dekkho is now getting more inbound requests, and adding two to three new content creators every week.
This is where Dekkho becomes different from others such as Flickbay. The latter is much more focussed on Bollywood alone. Flickbay founder Trishant Sidhwani had in an earlier conversation with Gadgets 360, explained that the goal was to reduce the gap between Bollywood and the audiences, and to open up the platform for user generated content, and build a community around Bollywood.
"With Flickbay we bring the world of Bollywood under one roof," Sidwani said. "Flickbay is a discovery platform where you can get latest news, trailers, songs, reviews, ratings, box office collections, movies playing in theatres/ on TV."
For Dekkho, right now the most popular content is Bollywood music, which Pillai says is "ideal snackable content" but the future plans go further. "You have to recognise that Bollywood spends crores into that single piece of content, which is why it's some of the best under-3 minutes experience," he says. "But creators are learning fast, and when they take an exclusive with us, they get a fully data backed approach to analysing the content. The creators can learn from this and improve their content on a day to day basis."
Beyond that, the company also has a section called Live TV, where content creators can create a "channel" and set up a schedule for linear TV. "Sometimes users don't want to pick and choose, and make so many decisions, like you do with VoD," says Pillai. "With channels, you can just find a creator you like and watch. We've seen almost 3x engagement on these channels when compared to VoD, when looking at the data from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, so clearly there's a latent demand."
Pillai believes that although YouTube is a great platform, it is hard to browse for content, and that's what makes platforms like Dekkho feasible in his opinion. Beyond that, he says that the company is making a concerted push for better recommendations, and at the same time, keeping all of its content free, unlike a few other Indian platforms that have similar clips.
The company is keen to be on as many platforms as possible, and by being free, it reduces the barrier to entry, but given the pervasiveness of YouTube, which comes on just about every Android phone, that might not be enough. The actual success might depend on those exclusive deals windows that Pillai mentioned, and more importantly, making users aware that the content exists.