TVF success story: From YouTube Channel to India’s Biggest Entertainer
India loves cinema and with time the way we entertain ourselves is changing. The days when people used to rely on television content only for entertainment are wrapped up. Now, we have several digital entertainment platforms which cater to every individual’s entertainment needs. Among these online digital entertainment houses, there is TVF which creates entertaining and relatable content for the age group of 18-35. With some of the most popular shows like Panchayat, Kota Factory and Pitchers, they have produced top shows of India’s entertainment industry lately. Let’s know more about one of India’s most loved online streaming platforms.
What is TVF?
TVF- The Viral Fever- is an online digital entertainment platform that offers original shows and videos relevant to Indian youth. Arunabh Kumar is the founder and the CEO (Creative Experiment Officer) of TVF. Some of the original web series of TVF like Pitchers and Permanent Roommates have got record breaking views and have been mentioned by IMDBs in the list of top 250 TV shows.
In 2010, TVF Media Labs launched TVFPlay as a YouTube channel. TVF Media Labs is under Contagious Online Media Pvt. Ltd now. The company aims to appeal to the younger generation, which enjoys watching television entertainment. It was one of the earliest developments in the Indian digital entertainment sector.
How It Started?
An IIT Kharagpur passed-out engineer, Arunabh Kumar, joined the US Airforce as a research consultant and was ready to fly to Tokyo for the position. When self-awareness struck him while waiting for a trip to Delhi to finish up his visa requirements, he made the decision to follow his passion for storytelling. After returning from the airport, he resigned from his position and started searching for work at a production company.
He ultimately secured a meeting at Shah Rukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies Entertainment after making numerous cold calls to many production companies. He requested an assistant post from Farah Khan. Red Chillies offered him the role of assistant director in Om Shanti Om, Deepika Padukone’s feature film debut. As a result, Red Chillies served as his film school where he could study and create.
Arunabh was writing short films, working on documentaries, music videos, and ad films at the same time. He quickly understood that there was a need in the market for content that could be filled by his material, from a 30-second commercial break to a 3-hour film for adults between the ages of 18 and 35. Hence, he gathered his friends—some of whom shared his interest of story-telling—including Amit Golani, Deepak Mishra, and Biswapati Sarkar—and pitched the idea of creating small videos relatable to Indian youth to MTV.
But MTV didn’t like the idea and the team decided to do a parody of MTV’s popular show Roadies. In 2012, the TVF’s released its first original video named Roadies. They intended to have a celebration after the video reached 100,000 views, but it quickly went viral and received 1.1 million views in only five days. Seeing this overwhelming response, the team decided to use YouTube as a platform for content distribution, and this is how the story of TVF began with Lights, Camera, Experiment.
How TVF Makes Money?
TVF largely depends on YouTube and distributes most of the content through it. However, the revenue it gets from YouTube contributes to a small portion of total revenue. As per Growjo- a database company, currently the estimated revenue of The Viral Fever is $62.5 million each year.
As a matter of fact, a large amount of revenue comes from brands which collaborate with them. Some of the brands which they have collaborated with are Unacademy, Tata Motors’ Tiago, Ola and One Plus. In the web series Tripling, TATA Motors’ Tiago covers a good part and OnePlus played an integral role in Humorously Yours series. Kingfisher and Ola received a mention in Pitchers and Permanent Roommates Season-2.
These businesses collaborate with TVF because it appeals to a sizable youthful audience. By doing so, they want to have their audience identify their brand with the information on TVF. The companies refer to this as product placement, while TVF refers to it as brand integration. TVFPlay had more than 1.38 million new users as of March 2020. As a result, T.V.F. produces content to attract an audience, and marketers who want to partner with them pay to reach this audience.
The main target of TVF is millennials from the age group of 18 to 40 who are interested in watching Indian content relevant to them. TVF has a devoted following since it appeals to diverse youthful target segments through a variety of channels.
TVF uses YouTube in addition to its own platform (TVFPlay) to distribute content. Besides that, in order to provide content for other OTT platforms, it also collaborates with them. The main activities of TVF are producing branded content on the web, running live events, TV shows, and web series, and offering production services. Its resources include original content, online platforms, TVFPlay, a YouTube channel, and cast and crew. It believes in delivering top-notch unique content that the audience can identify with.
iflix are some of the company’s rivals.
The Future Ahead:
TVF has recently had some setbacks, including allegations of harassment against the CEO, legal disputes over ownership, and the departure of key team members. With more and more competitors entering the fray and fighting for the attention of TVF’s core audience, the online Indian content market is likewise becoming increasingly competitive.
To improve its distribution and attract a larger audience, TVF has continued to produce engaging content and wants to work with additional companies and OTT platforms. They also have plans to create a theatrically released feature film. Their primary focus will be on differentiating web content for young people, which is their competitive advantage.
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