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Personalisation of content is our core feature: ViewLift’s Manik Bambha

In India, ViewLift is the enabler for the extremely popular Bengali OTT platform – Hoichoi.

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Mumbai: ViewLift is a cloud-based streaming platform headquartered out of New York, offering a complete end-to-end solution to content owners to distribute and monetise their content across multiple device platforms, including web, mobile, over-the-top, connected TV, smart TVs and gaming consoles. ViewLift’s founding team has strong industry relationships and brings years of experience as an operator, not just a technology provider. ViewLift operates across the digital ecosystem, understanding each device’s unique requirements and best practices.

In India, ViewLift is the enabler for the extremely popular OTT platform for Bengali content – Hoichoi, among others such as Kanccha Lannka and Oho Gujarati.

The ViewLift platform offers industry-leading functionality, complete scalability, and deep experience in distributing live and on-demand video. ViewLift is a single, proprietary SaaS platform; in addition to its comprehensive technology stack, ViewLift also supports multiple integrations with payment gateways, ad networks, and marketing CRM systems such as Mailchimp & HubSpot and more.

Indiantelevision.com in conversation with Manik Bambha, who is head of sales, product, tech and marketing for ViewLift in his role as co-founder & president. With over 15 years of experience, he has been a strategic leader with experience in the media and entertainment industry. He also has a deep understanding of social, web, mobile, OTT, CDN, live, stats and distribution.

On ViewLift’s India journey 

ViewLift operates globally. We have a strong presence in the USA, Asia and India. In India, we are the technology partner for Hoichoi, one of the earliest and most -successful OTT services for a regional language in the country. Since then, ViewLift has powered some of the leading D2C VoD services in India and APAC. Some of the clients include Hoichoi, Oho Gujarati, Kanccha Lannka and Chorki (from Bangladesh).

As technology solutions providers to our clients, our biggest learning and USP has been to not compete with any service providers like Netflix or Disney+ Hotstar. Our clients offer their unique content and consumer solutions to audiences.

ViewLift has spent a decade scripting success stories for a diverse range of OTT platforms of all flavours and sizes. Our prime focus area is to provide engineering and architecture that helps our customers to deliver delightful experiences that engage and retain their viewers.

Content personalisation, therefore, is one of the core features of what we do. In addition to solutions, architects, and engineers, we assist OTT platforms with workstreams like analysing user preferences. Our state-of-the-art analytics infrastructure offers them a 360-degree view of both real-time and historical data on user preferences and much more.

On monetising content

ViewLift can get a brand up and running on any business model in weeks. This allows the brand to be making money from day 1 without spending months/years in build. ViewLift platform facilitates hybrid and multi-tiered monetization to enable DTC platforms to choose the business model that works best for their content type and target region they operate in such as – ads, free, SVoD, PPV, TV everywhere, PVoD, etc.

On the changes made to the thought process before entering India. 

In India, we had to make adjustments on the encoding ladder to address lower bandwidth issues. Adjustments were also made in apps handling lower-powered devices and CDN (content network delivery) to address remote areas. 

One of the key changes we had to make to attract clients in India was the addition of new payment methods. India is by far the biggest market for regional content due to many different languages being spoken in different districts, unlike the US market. So, bringing in the use of wallets, and regional payment gateways to make the payment process seamless was very important. Integration with local telcos and third parties was also important.

On the growth of OTT and where do you see it in the next five years

India continues to be a virtual outlier in terms of consumer trends, with an estimated 0.5 million families currently practising cord-cutting. Although it started with a small base, smart TVs in India have grown quickly and now account for the majority of all new TV purchases. This was thought to be the tipping point for consumers to stop using pay TVs and switch entirely to OTTs for their entertainment needs, but barriers like internet connectivity and relatively higher entry costs have caused them to stick with linear TV.

On regional content

Big players are just scratching the surface on regional. Content budgets are thin and they can only afford to do five-10 shows a year in one region. Regional players on the other hand are doing 10-100 shows a year. Also, regional players have better access to scripts and talent. As far as regional content is concerned, regional players will continue to dominate in 2023.

On the partnership with Hoichoi 

Hoichoi is a key client and partner for us. We innovate with them and their expansion has been very helpful for us to test technology and business ideas. Hoichoi has benefited from our extensive marketing, data, and analytics tools, which assist them in improving interaction with their target audience by creating quality content. 

ViewLift is excited to be a part of the development of Hoichoi. This collaboration between ViewLift and Hoichoi elevates it to the top of the regional entertainment space, not just in India, but globally. We bring Global to Hoichoi and we learn locally from them.

On various other initiatives 

A lot of big brands spend exorbitant amounts of money on tech resources and they have very average digital products. We cut that cost and give them a much better product. 

Our clients save huge on Capex with ready-to-deploy yet fully customisable solutions to launch branded native apps on over 16 digital platforms such as Android, IOS, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Smart TVs, Xbox, and more. This helps save on the technology operations without having to have a full engineering and support team.

Also, the ‘pricing plans’ are created to support growth and scalability. This allows content creators to launch with smaller budgets and scale to additional platforms as they grow and can afford.

On how does Viewlift bridge need gap in existing business

ViewLift’s founding team has strong industry relationships and brings years of experience as an operator, not just a technology provider. ViewLift operates across the digital ecosystem, understanding each device’s unique requirements and best practices.

It is our continuous endeavour to be innovative to keep the clients ahead of the competition with continuous upgrades and the addition of new features to enhance reach and performance.

On expansion and growth plans 

We plan to double our client base in India and work closely with them to showcase regional content, the consumption of which is increasing at a very fast pace in the Indian market.

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