How Roposo is working to build a live streaming ecosystem in India

YouTube content creation is becoming a place of competition in almost every industry given the potential it holds. Here are a few facts that suggest so. Creators on video streaming platform YouTube contributed Rs 6,800 crore to the country’s GDP and supported over Rs 6.83 lakh full-time jobs in India in 2020 (Oxford Economics report).

Legacy brands and new-age startups saw the potential and worked to make the most of this opportunity. Roposo India has decided to get one step ahead in the game by venturing further into the “live streaming segment” in the creator realm. (Live streaming, which is widespread in Europe and the US, means that a creator broadcasts live video and audio coverage over the internet.)

Mansi Jain, Vice President and GM of Roposo said, “We believe that Roposo currently building live trading will be the next trading frontier in Indian market and Roposo is building its next trading frontier in Indian market Roposo is building this comprehensive live entertainment commerce platform for brands and developers to transform how consumers shop in the country.”

In business since 2016, Roposo has evolved from a short video platform to a live entertainment platform. The idea was to evolve into a “live entertainment platform” to combine the pop culture that the creators bring to the platform with a unique shopping experience to offer their customers a “differentiated experience”.

understand business model
From a business perspective, Roposo’s entertainment commerce platform allows customers to buy physical products and even creator master classes or live concerts. Then the sum is split between the creator and the platform regardless of the transaction.

“We’ve seen very vividly over the past year from both a consumer and maker perspective, which has particularly accelerated during the pandemic as people wanted to live the offline experiences in the online format,” explained Jain.

Roposo is affiliated with live lock screen platform Glance, which is one of the fastest growing screen zero platforms and is present on 150 million devices in the country (Glance recently acquired Roposo to improve video content). Because of the setup, the Roposo brand can experience live on the lock screen at any time.

Jain shared her company’s approach: “Over the past year, our strategy has been to provide the end-consumer with an end-to-end experience, that is, straight from creating differentiated consumer experiences across entertainment and commerce, giving us access to all the top Landed talent in the industry to be on our live platform.”

Again, with the further acquisition of Shop101, the company now has the commerce infrastructure and strength to offer the end user a fairly seamless commerce experience.

“So for us, the key difference is that we’re not concerned with the consumer seeing the content and then taking him or her somewhere else to complete the experience. Rather, we want to offer end-to-end discovery and fulfillment on the lock screen, and that’s starting to become a differentiation,” added Jain.

Building own brands
The third differentiation the brand has made is that it invests in creating its own brands with celebrities. Roposo has launched brands in home decor, home textiles and wellness brand EK by Ekta Kapoor on its platform.

“We actually believe that by co-creating these D2C brands with them, we can create the next celebrity unicorns,” the company added.

“These brands embody the true authentic selves of celebrities and creators outside. And over the next 12 months we will be launching many more such brands. So if you look at the scope and distribution – if you look at the end-to-end experience from discovery to fulfillment, we’ve created our own creator-led branding strategy,” Jain shared.

Technological integration
Now that Roposo is part of Glance, technology (and AI) is deeply ingrained in the DNA of the company itself. One of the areas where the brand is investing heavily in technology, particularly AI, is in the live commerce segment.

“Live commerce is all about how creators can influence real fans. Or if there are a million viewers, how can a creator build an affinity with the consumer that I would happily buy knowing if I’m a fan. Consumer engagement with live consumers is immense,” Jain said.

As for the challenges, the biggest one is that the brand is by and large a pioneer in this segment. So there is no set of rules as such for the Indian markets. However, brands can rely on western models to shine in the live streaming segment.

Jain added, “It’s not mainstream consumer behavior. The challenge is that there is no finished playbook, but if I look at this as an opportunity, if we’re the first to crack this, we have a chance to win a big share of this market.”

In terms of investments, Glance recently raised $200 million from Jio.

future plans
Currently, the brand is heavily focused on scaling across India and also has ambitions to go overseas for the obvious reason that live streaming is already an established market overseas. Being a technology-centric platform, geographic scaling makes a lot of sense.

“Our focus is on how we continue to penetrate deep into India and work with top celebrities and brands. And immerse yourself in (video/live) experiences. But we want to build this brand globally, not just in India. Our plan is to bring Roposo to the Southeast Asian and US markets. Hopefully in the next 6-12 months myself,” added Jain.

READ MORE: Technology Holds Huge Potential to Transform Retail Industry: Nandan Nilekani

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