INTERVIEW: Video creation platform Firework insists it is more than a TikTok rival as it woos publishers in India— not just individual content creators
- “For the Indian market, we don't look at creators who are trying to put a trick, instead look at creators who are good storytellers,”
FireworkIndia and EMEA CEO Sunil Nair told Business Insider.
- Last year, the US-based Firework was reportedly considered by Google for a possible acquisition
- Today, the startup is wooing cash-strapped publishers, as much as individual creators, in India where the consumer seems to have a ceaseless hunger for video content.
- Check out the latest news and updates on Business Insider.
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“For the Indian market, we don't look at creators who are trying to put a trick, instead look at creators who are good storytellers. We have people like florists and pet therapists – these are people who wouldn’t easily get a following on a social media platform. We take that content and allow it to exist across a large swath of partners – it could be a blog, or a website or an e-commerce portal,” said Nair, who earlier led Alt Balaji, worked with Reliance Jio and Star Network. In fact, almost every creator on Firework who gains popularity on the platform or builds revenue is verified, according to Nair. A team of moderators also check on the quality score of each video.
The US-based Firework aims to create a web community for video consumers as well as creators, including individuals and brands. From being considered by Google for a possible acquisition, today, the startup is betting on the Indian market with a seemingly ceaseless hunger for video content.
Globally, Firework pushes out half a million videos per month and currently, only 100,000 of that come from India. According to Comscore, Firework in India has about 30 million monthly users.
While most companies come to India for the sheer scale that the populous country offers, Firework is looking beyond the millions of users, most of whom prefer free services.
Explaining the company’s strategy in India, Jason Holland, the President of Global Business at Firework, said that they are roping in publishers as much as they are wooing individual content creators. “In our conversations with publishers in India, as we go through understanding what their needs look like, we always talk about video and their strategic roadmap. And you know, whether video is important to them. And the overwhelming response to that is yes, absolutely, it is,” he said.
If a website, and it could be a news website like Bloomberg or Reuters, who are their clients globally ,wants to produce a video but doesn’t have the budget or the human resources to create, they could reach out to Fireworks for an individual project or a series.
Fireworks would charge an amount for creating the content. “We don't just do regular filters. Our platform offers more for users to create better videos. We have built tools, which allows the user to use the camera in various ways – if you're an iPhone user, you could use the front and back camera together, if you are an Android user, you could use the 360 degree camera feature,” said Nair.
So, it is not just an platform for people to put videos like they do on TikTok or Instagram reels. Firework has another vertical which serves businesses too.
Firework has tied up with over 160 publishers and brands in India and are focusing on growing the number.
This is the vertical that is seeing a stronger growth in India, according to Holland. “The next one year is going to be pretty interesting because the next year will open up the market. We're looking at regional content – Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, among others. Those are going live and we have significant traction that's coming out there,” he said.
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