With shows on almost all leading OTT platforms, numerous branded content sketches, a part of the IMDB list of top Indian web shows and being on the esteemed jury for the Emmy’s this year has been a fabulous one for TVF and Sameer Saxena.
Shows that don’t let the viewers off the screen unless they binge-watch is what TVF truly believes in. Aren’t TVF the masters of content that resonate so well with the youth? Be it college drama, romance or specific themes that trend, or maybe just simple slice of life, such as their recent original, Cheesecake on MX Player.
Sameer Saxena, Chief Content Officer and Head of TVF Originals, TVF was a part of the jury for International Emmy’s for the second time.
Medianews4u.com caught up with Sameer Saxena on TVF’s journey, the year 2019 and everything between the lines.
How has TVF evolved over the years?
We didn’t start with Permanent Roommates but actually from short sketches. Initially we were creating small videos, comedy videos and then we went on to create long-form content; Permanent Roommates being the first one.
We always wanted to do long-form and we started with short-form because at that time we didn’t have the audience that we have now. We thought of starting with small videos.
The evolution actually started from making like one show a year, or maybe two shows a year to now creating 10 to 15 shows a year. I am confident that this is just going to go on because eventually, we want to make more and more shows without compromising on the quality.
There are stories which need certain kind of a different treatment which may or may not be in line with a brand’s thought process; that’s why we started working with other OTT platforms. We started with just one platform in the beginning and now we’re working with pretty much everyone already.
How has 2019 been for TVF?
2019 has been phenomenal for us, we started with a bang. Immaturewhich was created for MX Player actually launched their original content slate. It went on to become their most watched show, till date.
For SonyLIV we created Tripling Season 2 and Gullak which were a huge success.
Then Kota Factory happened on YouTube…What do I tell you about Kota Factory… it has been one of our best shows ever. And now we are ending the year with a bang; in the last 10 days, we have released Cheesecakeon MX Player, Cubicles on YouTube and then Hostel Dazeon Amazon Prime Video.
While you just now mentioned how Kota Factory did wonders for TVF…why did you not launch the show on any of these OTT platforms and only on YouTube?
For Kota Factory, the primary reason was that we had a brand on-board at a very early stage, Un-Academy.
The brand wanted the show on YouTube obviously to increase its reach. It made complete sense also because and in the other way it also helped us as YouTube is accessible to the most widest audience possible and this kind of show needed that kind of reach.
While TVF’s content is everywhere… Name the platform and you’ll are there… YouTube, MX Player, Sony LIV, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and now even on Zomato…What happened to TVFPlay? Looking at your content catalogue and associations with other platforms it seems that TVF lost its way with building TVFPlay as a platform and instead concentrated on creating content for other platforms…
We have created content quality and TVF at the end is known for; and what we aspire to be known for is basically to be the best content creators of the country, irrespective of the platform that it goes to.
So while we have done a lot of shows with other OTTs people don’t realize that there are a lot of short form content which goes only on either on YouTube or Facebook and these are all branded content.
All branded content goes to TVF Play and all the non-branded stuff goes to other OTT platforms, so it’s as simple as that. For us it’s important that we again tell stories and tell it the right way. So, there are shows which need associations then we go in for the association or that we can work brands.
Which have been the most successful shows for TVF this year?
Kota Factory, Gullak and Immature have done really well. We have received a great response for Cubicles has done really well and Cheesecake and these are the top shows. We are now pretty much at the end of the year.
And which other genres are you looking to explore?
Yes, next year we will want to create content that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat and suspense thrillers, maybe even horror.
We understand that IMDB top 50 Indian web shows have 5 shows TVF? How is that helping the TVF?
Many people now in the industry are recognising the fact that we are in the top 50 shows of all times across all countries and genres. If there are only five shows from India on that list and out of those five; four are from TVF. It just helps to validate us across the market. Even otherwise, everyone is accepting the fact that TVF is probably one of the best storytellers in the country.