Mitron is a free short video platform for the next generation to explore. It is designed for people to showcase their innovative videos online with our theme of light humor.
Mitron’s mission is to create a platform where people can come and entertain themself with small videos posted by people across the globe and at the same time create an asocial incentive for people to share and create their own videos
Shivank Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO, Mitron TV in conversation with Medianews4U spoke on the challenges they faced during and after the launch, content strategy, and way forward…
How was Mitron conceived, and what was the strategy behind this move?
Did we want to create a mobile-focused content generation and consumption platform which understands and abides by Indian social guidelines? Both I and Anish believe that Indian consumers should be served by Indian platforms, and Indian data should always be secured on Indian servers. Through Mitron, we wanted to create a platform for Indians to showcase their talent and creativity. The vision of Mitron became stronger during the lockdown period where the entire globe was searching for different ways to be connected with their loved ones.
Mitron is perceived as an alternative to Tiktok?
Mitron was launched before the TikTok ban, and we already had over a million followers. The comparisons is ought to happen, but we are proud that we are serving the Indian audience with a home-grown app that is at par with global apps. Industry experts have hailed us as the answer to international apps.
Mitron is not only an entertainment platform but also an infotainment and edutainment platform. We want our users to come and learn on our platform while getting entertained. We aim to create micro-entrepreneurs and want to build local stars through Mitron. We are among the first Indian brands to introduce 19 categories in short-format content, thus helping increase community engagement.
The PM starts his address to people with ‘Mitron’; were you inspired to name your platform after this term?
We had listed down several names for our app and wanted something that will directly connect with the Indian audience, symbolic to our nation, and align with the vision of Indian leaders. Mitron signifies friendship and togetherness, and through our app, we want Indians to connect from every corner of our country.
What were the challenges you faced after your launch?
During our early days, Google informed us to have a proper mechanism in place to flag content. We received a standard email from Google after our app was taken down, and there was no adequate communication before they took down our app.
Is the reach of Mitron only in the Hindi-speaking markets?
Mitron caters to Indians across regions and isn’t focused on any specific language-speaking audience. It is an app for the people of the people and by the people of India.
During this one-year journey, Mitron has grown by leaps and bounds, and we currently have 50 million users on Android, out of which 22% are creators. Our user base is spread across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and Assam. Furthermore, we are increasing our reach into the South Indian states to connect with the South Indian diaspora of the audience.
Many Indian developers have expressed concern about Google Play Store policies. What do you have to say about that?
It was last year when we faced issues with Google as there was no proper communication. Since then, we have developed our relationship with Google and are working with the team seamlessly.
What is your take on ‘desi’ app’s /discovery platforms?
We are of the firm belief that Indians should work together and help grow each other and make a mark internationally. We have the necessary technology, intelligence, and experience. To help the Indian audience discover Indian applications, we launched Atmanirbhar apps in October last year and received an overwhelming response. Till now, the app has crossed over 75kdownloads on Google Playstore and has listed more than 500 apps by Indian developers.
We are also one of the first players in this domain to be present on Indus OS and the Paytm marketplace.
Was the source code for Mitron purchase from a Pakistan-based company – Qboxus? What were the challenges due to this and how have you managed to navigate through this challenge?
We faced numerous challenges in our initial days but have been able to bounce back every time because of the trust and faith shown by the users. Every challenge was a huge learning experience for us. Like everyone, we bought the template from Envato, a huge marketplace, and most unicorns purchase templates and source code from them. While sourcing the template, no one knows about the end developer, and everyone relies on the company’s quality and trust.
Data Privacy is the foremost issue for many users; how are you ensuring privacy?
Our DNA is to be transparent with our consumers, and we are extremely serious and cautious about our users’ privacy. We believe that an Indian audience should be served by a home-grown app, with data firmly secured on Indian servers. We notify our users even when there is a need to capture minute information of theirs. Mitron has an inbuilt feature wherein the users can control their content’s visibility once they upload it on the platform. The user can decide whom they want to show their content to by choosing the private option, making it available to friends or making the content public.
All our systems are firewalled, ensuring that any third party cannot access our users’ data. We have created multiple security levels which prohibit any unauthorized data access. For the additional safety of user data, our platform has a two-level authentication and token generation requirement if anyone from our team wants to access the user data. Without proper tokens, even we are not allowed to access data. Also, we proudly say that all our servers, cloud, and CDN are Indian.
There are stringent procedures to avoid data misuse. Can users delete all their data and accounts completely?
Users do have control over their data, which they have uploaded or saved, and can delete the same by themselves. For complete removal of their accounts from our database, users have to send an email to our team to do the needful.
Content comes from various users; how do you filter it?
Every piece of content on our platform goes through the moderation channels, and there is a manual and automated queue in place. Every content uploaded on Mitron goes through the automated queue. There is a risk factor associated with every user, and if AI raises a flag, the content then goes through the manual queue.
Around 1% to 2% of videos are taken down every day from our platform on the moderation front. In terms of pulling down the content, we abide by two major categories: violent content with disturbing images and the second is profanity.
What is your revenue model? How do you monetize your content? Do content providers get paid?
We are doing a lot of experiments in terms of monetization, and on the occasion of our first anniversary, we launched Mitron Club, Mitron Academy, and Mitron On-Demand for our users to make money from the comfort of their homes.
We have launched Mitron Club, wherein the users can directly engage with the creators by paying a nominal fee of Rs.99/- per month. Through the Club, the app gives creators a unique opportunity to create engaging content exclusively for users opting for the service.
We have also introduced two more unique initiatives – Mitron Academy and Mitron On-Demand for our users. Through Mitron Academy, the creators get an opportunity to share educational videos to help users learn from the platform. Additionally, with Mitron On-Demand, users will be able to place requests for on-demand content like – Astrology reading, song dedication, tips and hacks, birthday wishes, amongst others.
All the above are paid contents and behind the payment firewall, which is not sharable and downloadable.
What are your future plans?