YouTube content creation given the potential that it holds is going to be the locus of competition going forward in almost every industry. Here are a few facts that suggest that. Creators on the video streaming platform YouTube contributed Rs 6,800 crore to the country's GDP and supported over Rs. 6.83 lakh full-time equivalent jobs in India in 2020 (report Oxford Economics).
Understanding the potential, legacy brands and new-age start-ups have been working to make the most of the opportunity. Roposo India has decided to go one step ahead in the game by further venturing into the 'live streaming segment' in the creator’s space. (Live streaming, which is very common in the European and the US, is where a creator transmits live video and audio coverage over the internet.)
Mansi Jain, Vice President and GM, Roposo said, “Currently what Roposo is building is we believe that live commerce is going to be the next frontier of commerce in the Indian market and Roposo is building their next frontier of commerce in the Indian market and Roposo is building that overall live entertainment commerce platform for brands and creators so we change the way consumers are shopping in the country.”
Having been in the business since 2016, Roposo has gone through the journey of evolving from a short video platform to a live entertainment platform. The idea has been to evolve into a 'live entertainment platform' so that they can combine pop culture which the creators are bringing onto the platform and a unique shopping experience on top of that so that they can provide a “differentiated experience” to their consumers.
Understanding Business Model
From a business standpoint, through Roposo’s entertainment commerce platform, customers can buy physical products and even masterclasses from creators or live concerts. Then, whatever transaction happens, the sum is split between the creator and the platform.
“We have seen over the last one year both from the consumer and creator standpoint lively in a very big way, which got particularly accelerated during the pandemic because people were looking to have the experiences of offline in the online format," Jain stated.
Roposo is connected to lock screen live platform Glance, which is one of the fastest-growing screen zero platforms and is present on 150 million devices in the country (recently Glance acquired Roposo to boost video content). Because of the facility, the brand can experience Roposo live at any time on the lock screen.
Jain shared her company's approach: “Over the last one year, our strategy has been to give end-to-end experience to end consumer so right from creating differentiated consumer experiences of entertainment and commerce which gave us access to all the top talent in the country to be on our live platform.”
Again, with the further acquisition of Shop101, the firm now holds the commerce infrastructure and muscle to provide a rather seamless commerce experience to the end consumer.
“So for us, the core differentiation is that we are not about the consumer seeing the content and he or she is then taken somewhere else for completion of the experience. Rather, we want to provide end-to-end discovery and fulfilment on the lock screen, and that starts to become a differentiation,” Jain further added.
Building Own Brands
The third differentiation that the brand has undertaken is that it is investing in creating its own brands with celebrities. Roposo has launched brands in home décor, home furnishing and wellness brand EK from Ekta Kapoor on its platform.
“We actually believe that we can create the next celebrity unicorns by co-creating these D2C brands with them,” the company added.
“These brands the true authentic self of celebrities and creators outside. And, over the next 12 months, we will be launching many more such brands. So, if you look at the scale and distribution – if you look at the end to end discovery to fulfilment experience, we have built our own creator-led brand strategy,” Jain shared.
Given that Roposo is part of Glance now, technology (and AI) has been deeply ingrained in the DNA of the company itself. One of the areas where the brand is strongly investing in technologies particularly AI is in the Live Commerce segment.
“Live commerce is all about how creators can influence true fans. Or if there are a million viewers, how can a creator build affinity with the consumer so that if I know if I am a fan then I would love to buy. Engagement of consumers on Live consumers is immense,” Jain said.
As far as the challenges are concerned, the biggest one is that the brand is by and large a pioneer in this segment. So, there is no rulebook as such for the Indian markets. However, the brands can rely upon western models to excel in the live streaming segment.
Jain added: “It is not established consumer behaviour. The challenge is there is no ready playbook but if I see this an opportunity if we are the first one to crack this so we have a chance to garner a large share of this market.”
In terms of investment, Glance has recently raised $ 200 million from Jio.
Currently, the brand is strongly focused on scaling across India, and it also holds ambitions of going abroad for the obvious reason that Live streaming is already an established market abroad. Also, being a tech-centric platform, scaling geographically makes a lot of sense.
“Our focus is how do we continue to go deep in India and work with top celebrities and brands. And, go deep into (video/live) experiences. But we do want to build this brand globally not just in India. Our plan is to take Roposo to South-East Asia and US markets. Hopefully in the next 6-12 months itself,” Jain added.