FLYX's journey so far and what it has in store for users, content producers as well as advertisers in the future
- OTT has helped bring an ocean of content to our fingertips. However, it has also made it difficult to sift through the vast amount of content and select one according to our taste.
Content discoveryplatform FLYX, launched last year, is trying to solve this problem.
- We speak to
Shashank Singh, Founder and CEO, FLYX to understand how the platform works, its revenue model and how it is bringing more users to its platform.
FLYX was conceived keeping this very consumer problem in mind. It is a discovery platform specially aimed at people faced with the perennial dilemma of selecting content worthy of watching.
The pandemic and the ensuing lockdown led to many people flocking to different OTT platforms, to keep themselves entertained while staying locked at home. This led to a surge in interest among people to get better content recommendations and led to an earlier launch of FLYX which had been in the making for the past couple of years.
Despite being in the pre-revenue stage currently, the platform is working towards creating opportunities for content producers to reach the right audience at the right time through the business platform the company is currently working on.
We caught up with Shashank Singh, Founder and CEO, FLYX to understand how the platform works, how it is planning to monetize itself and the kind of opportunities it will present to marketers in the future.
Q) FLYX was launched in the middle of last year’s lockdown. Briefly tell us about your journey so far.
FLYX was conceived with the idea to provide a platform for the seamless discovery of movies and shows for people who were faced with the dilemma of selecting content worthy of watching. Our aim is to create a new-age digital platform to empower consumers and content creators to ensure great content wins.
As the first step toward the goal, we have launched a unique social network to connect friends, family, celebrities, casts, crews and influencers to help get recommendations. Research has shown us that two-thirds of our video streaming habit is influenced by friends and family and that is the best way to discover great content.
We started working on the idea since the last couple of years and opened up our private beta in early 2020, then publicly launched at the end of April 2020. Since then, it has been an interesting journey and we are really excited for what lies in the future.
Q) How did the pandemic and the lockdown affect your business?
The pandemic brought with it a surge in the number of people turning to OTT platforms to fulfill their cinematic cravings. This scenario prompted us to pre-pone our launch. We had launched in a private only beta earlier in the year, and had decided upon a late summer or early monsoon official release. However, as the pandemic swept through the world, we saw a sudden and a huge spike in activity within our small group of close to 500 private beta testers. Our family and friends wished to introduce their acquaintances to the app too and demanded that FLYX be launched. Therefore, contrary to expectations, the pandemic forced us to launch sooner than we had intended, and so far, the response has been
India, which serves as the home for over 40 OTT platforms, and is the second largest OTT market predicted to reach $5 billion in size by 2023, is our primary focus market. It is encouraging to see that the people are tuning in more than ever to OTT platforms within the confine of their premises. People are still wary of going to go to theatres but want to keep themselves entertained. We already have more than 100,000 users in India from key locations like Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Patna. We have been strengthening our team in India to further expand our footprint.
We recently partnered with
Q) Tell us a bit more about your association with Filmfare.
Over the past few years, with the advent of digitalization, the streaming industry in India has garnered greater attention. New talent, innovative, gripping narratives and layered characters have all been limned in the limelight, and OTT platforms have facilitated the recognition of this new, brilliant facet of cinema. Our collaboration with Filmfare was motivated by a common goal - to celebrate and honor the best content creators and artists who have kept up with our entertainment needs and delivered quality content to us even during unprecedented times.
Filmfare’s legacy and FLYX’s dedication to bringing modern-age technology to digital entertainment contributed to the distinctiveness of the award show. The overall response to the event was also gratifying. All in all, an atmosphere of camaraderie and shared excitement was cultivated and we were amazed at how the industry came together in such a short period of time and helped us make this a historic event for the OTT industry.
Q) Have you seen any trend in the demographics, gender, age group of your users?
We conducted a survey to examine the consumer behavior during the pandemic. The respondents were in the age group of 18-65 years and formed a multifarious group of students, professionals, business owners and self-employed individuals, among others from major cities of India, including Delhi NCR, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata. 56% of the respondents were male and 42% were female. The survey revealed that there has been an upsurge in both purchase of OTT subscriptions and viewing hours among Indian users. Over 50% of the respondents said that they had purchased new subscriptions during the pandemic, along with a 5x increase in those spending 16+ hours weekly and a 4x increase in those spending 12-16 hours weekly on OTT platforms. This has made it evident to us that people from all age groups and both the sexes have shown a pre-ponderance for OTT platforms and all that is associated with them.
Q) What is your current revenue model?
We are still at the pre-revenue stage but there are huge opportunities in this space. FLYX want to create opportunities for content producers to reach right audience at right time via the business platform we are currently working on. We are targeting to launch this in the second half of 2021. We are also working on some really cool and exciting stuff and will create some experience for premium users who will have access to some premium features.
Q) You are a content discovery platform. Are you exploring advertising or brand integrations?
This is definitely one very important part of FLYX journey. We aim to democratize content discovery and FLYX will provide brands a platform to reach out directly to the end consumers and show them the right content at the right time. Various brands who are associated with the entertainment industry directly or indirectly can also participate in the promotion of the content in which they are involved. In future, we will also allow them to sell merchandise to the fans.
Q) Who are your competitors? And how are you differentiating yourself?
Currently, we have two competitors in the segment: Just Watch and Likewise. What sets FLYX apart from its contemporaries, however, is the fact that it is a one-of-a-kind, highly interactive and fun social platform where users can engage with their friends and followers through stories and chats, watch trailers, read news, create shareable lists and exchange notes and comments with followers about the new and upcoming releases.
Recently, we also launched a new exciting and innovative feature called Sharelist on the platform. This feature will enable users to share recommendations of movies and shows with their friends and family and across social media platforms in real-time and is available for both Android and iOS users.
We are also working on some really cool stuff which will take interaction among fans and with celebrities to the next level and make it very fun and exciting.
Q) Where do you see FLYX in the next 3-5 years?
Our vision is to become a platform that will play its part in democratizing the media and entertainment industry by shifting focus on quality content. Our app will not only help users discover great content, but will also open avenues to connect with family, friends and favourite cast and crew members. We aim to bridge the gap between those who produce content (the entertainment industry) and those who consume it (their intended audiences). We are also working on some inventive, new age products and features that will certainly alter the industry radically.