Sudip Mukherjee: Creating a Biiggbang in the Indian OTT space
This story appears in the March-April 2021 issue of Television Asia Plus.
Entrepreneur Sudip Mukherjee has worn many hats. His career spans two decades across leadership and management roles in leading start-ups in various industries such as trading and food processing.
Sudip is making a jump into the media industry with a brand-new OTT service dubbed Biiggbang Amusement. Launched in January, the service offers compelling stories in short-form content delivered through seamless online entertainment.
To anyone who isn’t familiar, the media industry runs in the family. Sudip is related to Bidhayak Bhattacharya, the writer of hit Bengali films Deya Neya, Dhuli, and Bhranti Bilash. Sudip has also produced a few films such as the Bengali film Sweater and Archie and the Hindi film Salt.
Television Asia Plus (TVA): As a seasoned entrepreneur in various industries such as trading and food processing, what motivated you to make the jump into the media industry with Biiggbang Amusement?
Sudip Mukherjee (SM): I have been in the media industry for a long time. I produced a few films like Sweater and Archie in Bengali, and Salt, which was a Hindi film with A-listers. What really motivated me in life is ‘content’. We all know that in India, content is one of the biggest pillars that attracts the audience, and given my interest and experience in the field, I came up with the idea of launching Biiggbang Amusement.
TVA: Who are the owners or stakeholders behind Biiggbang Amusement?
SM: Along with me being the CEO, we have Biiggbang’s co-founder Mr. Shrikant Agarwal, a chartered accountant having a decade of experience in the industry. There are a few other big names from the industry who are already associated with the company’s board which we will be announcing soon.
TVA: What is the level of investment in USD that you are planning for content acquisition?
SM: Our investment plan for the next three to four months is around $10 million to $15 million dollars while we are also planning to invest about $80 million to $100 million in the coming year.
TVA: With many OTT players in India, what sets Biiggbang Amusement apart from its competitors?
SM: Biiggbang Amusement has identified various existing gaps for audiences in the digital entertainment space that nobody has filled. We are looking to bridging that gap with our premium short-form content as well as films with an upper limit of 120 minutes, par-excellent technology and interface, and a disrupting introduction of a subscription model that stands at only Rs 1, making it affordable for everyone—from students, homemakers and to working professionals.
TVA: Who are Biiggbang Amusement’s direct competitors?
SM: Biiggbang is creating its own space. We are coming up with a format that isn’t primarily dominant at this moment yet, but it is the future. People will have access to more snackable content along with short films and web series in more than 20 languages in the coming days. We don’t see a direct competition with the other OTT platforms, as we are coming up with a distinct format. We are also projecting ourselves as a family entertainment OTT service focusing on teenagers and the type of content we are coming up with is slightly different from what is available online at the moment.
TVA: Can you tell us more about Biiggbang Amusement’s foray into streaming short-form content? Why did you choose this format?
SM: Shorter formats are available in other entertainment categories and are extremely popular today. Cricket is an excellent example of the same. As mentioned, there is a gap that we have identified for the audiences in the OTT industry. Time is a crucial factor at present, as we believe that not everyone has the time to binge-watch 10 long episodes in one go for four to five hours. We have observed that typically, sequels do not happen to enjoy the same popularity as the first season, and interest levels tend to shoot down thereafter. We want to give the Indian youth the kind of entertainment they are looking for without demanding much of their time. For the majority of the audience, content is like a snack that they can consume during breaks and then back to their chores or routine. Shorter format content is the future of entertainment as it lets the audience consume more in less time.
TVA: In what ways are you expecting Biiggbang Amusement to grow in the coming months?
SM: Our best-in-class technology is the backbone of Biiggbang Amusement. We also have huge marketing plans and tie-ups in place. We are in talks with various distribution platforms as well to increase our presence. We have our teams in place who are dedicated to driving users to our platform from day one.
TVA: In terms of content, what can viewers expect to see more of?
SM: We are bringing in content from across genres and languages. You can anticipate immersive content from the North East and Nepali language on our platform as well. We have engaging content across the most arresting genres including thrillers, drama, comedy, and sci-fi, among others. We have collaborated with big directors and actors ad we promise to deliver endearing content to audiences across ages and geographies.
TVA: How many hours of content is Biiggbang Amusement rolling out in the next three months?
SM: We plan to roll out about 125 to 130 hours of content in the next three months.
TVA: Can you list any content deals or partnerships that you will be associated with?
SM: We are in talks with leading content platforms and advertising partners to crack interesting deals and partnerships which we will be announcing soon.
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