Indian shows need to be more innovative: Anuraag Srivastava, Rainshine Entertainment
Tapping into the cricket season with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 commencing last week, Rainshine Entertainment, a next-generation media and entertainment company, has launched Ulta Fullta, India’s first cricket digital game show (DiGS). This proprietary format promises to deliver all-round entertainment to Indian cricket fans through gamified online entertainment, coupled with a TV-style reality show.
Flipkart has backed Ulta Fullta by partnering as the Official Rewards Partner, while Hard Rock Café is the official Restaurant Partner. UltaFullta.com is supported by a first-of-its-kind talk-show – the Ulta Fullta cricket show. Partnering with SportsTak, Sony LIV and Dailyhunt, the episodes will air prior to every cricket match during the World Cup. Hosted by TV actor Nakuul Mehta, the show will feature top cricketers, comedians and young fans discussing the winners of the last match and predicting the ULTA5 and FULLTA5 players for the next match.
Commenting on the launch, Anuraag Srivastava, Chief Operating Officer, Rainshine Entertainment, said, “We aim to provide our viewers with an enthralling experience through our new format of Digital Game Show (DiGS). Ulta Fullta is the first game show in India that comes with a twist and allows users to celebrate the spirit of sports – both the highs and lows – thereby embracing success and failure. The game and the talk-show, created for both global and Indian audiences, promises all-round entertainment for cricket fans.”
In conversation with Adgully, Anuraag Srivastava speaks about the concept behind Ulta Fullta, digital gaming in India, the marketing strategy and more. Excerpts:
How did you come up with the Ulta Fullta concept in the game?
This specifically came up because we wanted the casual fans to be interested in the concept and now, we have this concept of selecting the underperformers too. We thought more and more people will be interested in it because there will be scores for the correct guess here as well and as well as they can challenge the celebrities, too, with both Ulta and Fullta lists. We have capitalised on the insights that we have received that a lot of Indians like to complain and this could be the best opportunity for them – more like a win-win situation for both the audience and for us.
Why come up with a digital game and not a television show?
Not a lot of cricket fans are, what we call, mobile first. Most of the people who are watching TV, according to me, in the next two years will be consuming it over digital. While India is not there completely as of now, hence most of them watch shows on phones – be it Netflix or TikTok, these formats are available for a short duration, where innovation is important and our bet is to get into that medium. Viewership on digital platforms is much better.
We are essentially capitalising on four things:
- Mobile phones have a vertical format
- Watching availability
- You can watch it on demand
- You can make it interactive, like the famous quiz shows where they involve you through the trivia quiz games even though it is a TV show, which drives more people towards the game.
We think it’s time to be innovative with the Indian shows and not just follow the global formats here.
Who is the TG that you are looking at here?
The TG here are casual cricket fans who are anyways going to go for the core cricket related games, but sometimes you might notice some cricket enthusiasts who are not that into cricket but do enjoy watching it for fun, so this show is targeting at that audience. The game has also been created keeping in mind the house umpires who love to pass judgment sitting at home, this is the actual playground for them, along with opportunities to win prizes.
What is your promotional and marketing strategy for Ulta Fullta?
The marketing will be mostly influencer-led. If you look at the type of people on the show, there is a large portfolio of artists that we manage here talent wise, who, apart from being artists, are also friends with the who’s and who of cricket, which would lead them to tweet and indirectly promote the show.
Could you tell us about your venture in the digital gaming space – “Votes Up”?
All our official numbers are out and we think they have done much better than what we had thought. We launched just 2 weeks before the Lok Sabha Elections and this was the outcome. Had I got the opportunity, I would have launched ‘Votes Up’ two months prior to the 2019 General Elections, even the two weeks’ time helped us with a little bit of internal promotions. We did not go for huge promotional activities. We have around 2.6 million people who have registered and voted, which is not a small amount, and more importantly, at one point of time the show was logged in at around 200,000 streams, which is huge. The total number of people logged in set the show to be the sixth largest vote analysis show in India. We plan to take ‘Votes Up’ globally after this amazing result that we witnessed.
What does the road ahead look like?
Rainshine is a start-up and most of us come from non-media backgrounds, which helps as we do not know what is right or wrong. Therefore, we are working on what the consumers want, we have nothing pre-planned and believe in experimenting with the formats. We are looking at a lot of formats from abroad, such as Brazil, China and the US, which may work in India because they are well known here and theoretically available.
We are also doing a lot of innovations, which we may call personalisation, because as per facts the viewership is fragmenting. We have done focus groups, where we have gone to places and observed the changes. There is a huge difference in the families a few years ago and today – from families sitting together and watching TV at 8.30 pm, with the person holding the remote having the authority on what the family watches, to growth in personal viewing thanks to digitisation. There is a lot that we have in store, with the digital platform expanding day by day.