Unleash the creative power of Bharat, Umang Bedi and Virendra Gupta unbox the “josh” economy at TechSparks 2021

Teenage rapper discovered on the streets of Karnal, who ends up being coached by Badshah, his own music and a cover for Rolling stones.

Meet new and emerging stars like him, from painters to dance geniuses, local comics to storytellers and fitness enthusiasts. Not from heaven, or Bollywood, Tollywood or Kollywood, but made by Bharat and for Bharat. These are ultra-cool Dharavi creators in Coimbatore who tap into Tier II, III, and IV demographics.

Over the past 12 months, Josh, the shortened video app of the Dailyhunt news aggregator, has acquired over 124 million monthly active users each month and almost Over 60 million “returns” every day with users who spend more 24 minutes average time.

Consumption in terms of video content per month is now closer to the 100 billion in terms of absolute content, which is consumed on a monthly basis, informed co-founder Umang Bedi.

“Over 50 million people across this audience have created content and put it on the platform. You know, monthly submissions are roughly 105-110 million pieces of content every month, ”Umang added as he sat down with founder Virendra Gupta for an exclusive Fireside discussion at TechSparks 2021.

Virendra, better known as Viru, added: “The size of our company has now doubled. It’s another Josh it happened.

Due to the nature of the business, a large portion of the people working at Josh are predominantly young people with an average age of 22-23. “During the pandemic, sitting at home, we hired around 600 to 700 people,” he added.

Creators economy

Umang pointed out that although there has been a complete explosion in terms of creators, genres and languages, the demand for content “is actually growing faster than the supply because there is this need and desire to simply spending time on entertainment, which is a massive category ”.

The desire to be part of a conversation, the fear of missing out (FOMO), and the constant gratification demanded by Millennials and Gen Z are unprecedented and partly explain the explosion of content to nibble on at the heels of the Connect generation or C generation.

Local disruption has been given a new lease of life after China’s song, dance, lip-syncing, and entertainment app TikTok was banned. A new generation of creators and influencers have risen to fill the void, and how.

If Instagram spelled out creator elitism, it was before introducing Reels in an attempt to capture the plebeian he once snubbed, or if YouTube demanded a different kind of rigor and temper, a platform like Josh broke the barriers of language, cultural elitism and the right to target Bharat with its enormous potential and originality.

As Viru said, Josh’s “beauty” is his variety of content enabled by the app’s tech creation tools and their built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

The result is a great diversity of content in all languages ​​and ranging from music and food, entertainment, lip-syncing, health, fitness, yoga and even enabling conversations on social issues like dot and the Kerala Police registration on the platform.

Content differentiation

And maybe that’s how Josh’s content differentiates itself in its non-form treatment of the short video format. “I think we tend to stereotype a short video with music, dancing and lip-syncing, but what we’re seeing is this explosion. While there is the usual music, lip syncing, and dancing, there is food, fashion, comedy, stunts, astrology, divinity, mythology, cuties. , children and even genres on the tune of pets, ”Umang explained.

From hyperlocal life on the streets to galvanizing movements around mental health, poverty or COVID-19 campaigns, and even the Independence Day challenge that helped Josh win a Guinness Book of World Records for the maximum number of people coming to greet the flag at a time point of time – such is the variety on the platform.

Josh’s ‘Triangulated Program’ brings the ‘World Famous’ concept to the lower level and Viru and Umang have now extended it to over 100 cities. From breeding raw talent in every city, from malls to streets and college campuses, Josh provides a platform that ultimately results in a massive event where celebrities, along with the nation’s top designers, select the best.

Those who are thus discovered enter the next level of the program, the Josh Academy, which Umang and Viru say is now the largest online academy to train and prepare more than 150,000 to 2,000,000 creators, representing the length of time. and the breadth of Bharath. .

The best then reach the top layer of the Agents of Josh program, where emerging creators are brought up to speed with learnings on how to present themselves and build their profile.

Perhaps Josh’s biggest motivation lies in his value proposition for bridging the digital divide between content disruptors and potential Bharath taste makers.

As Viru said, “These people feel very embarrassed to go to other platforms like Instagram and YouTube. These people create content in the local language, and that appeals to the culture that belongs to the audience of this. local language. So we’ve done lots of pilots and lots of campaigns, from Tinder and e-commerce to headphones and lots of D2C brands. The idea of ​​doing this monetization exercise was to complete the flywheel and s ‘ensure that the value chain looks good. ”

Rooting for value

Like Josh is a Unicorn – the billion dollar valuation club – what’s the message to other space entrepreneurs?

“You know, we’re a little shy with the tag. I would say that there are large companies that are looking for the right assessment and, on the other hand, there are a lot of assessments that are looking for a basic business model, ”Umang pointed out.

Viru added a word of warning: “It’s good to be on this side of the unicorn, but the message to other entrepreneurs who are on the other side of the unicorns is that every business that has become a unicorn has struggled. for the past eight to nine years to be where they are today.

Umang and Viru supported each other when they ensured that an IPO was not an “opportunistic opportunity” for them, and that they would let it happen at the right time for the right scale and price.

As Josh seeks to disrupt the way people interact with content with their deeply personalized AI and ML-powered interface coupled with augmented reality, they can’t wait to enable a new cohort of content disruptors, like Viru. rightly pointed out that the world of short videos is “endless” and cannot be pinned on a Coke, Pepsi, or organic tea.

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