Moj wants to be synonymous with the short video landscape in India: Shashank Shekhar

The ban on TikTok in 2020 opened up the market for made in India short video apps, and we have seen several of these apps flourish – most notably, JOSH, Moj, MX TakaTak, among others. According to a Redseer report, Indian apps have retained 65-70% of the TikTok era users, driven by acquisition of influencers on these platforms as well as efforts to provide similar/ better product experience for creators and users. 30-35% of users on short-form video have been acquired through aggressive customer acquisition and marketing push by Indian apps.

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These short-form video apps have differentiated themselves from other global social media and content through a strong ‘Bharat’ positioning.

Moj is one such Made in India app that has been gaining tremendous traction since its launch, with over 120 million monthly active users, Moj has emerged as India’s leading short video destination platform. Having a talented community, Moj provides a platform to the artists from various regions to express their creativity in different genres and inspire millions of people. Moj has new features being introduced regularly for an exceptional social experience which can be downloaded on both iOS and Android.

Moj recently launched Moj Madhouse, an initiative to bring the top short video platform influencers together under one roof for creative collaboration. The creators stay in this state-of-the-art property in Manali for a week and create content while showcasing their talent. Each week a new set of creators will enter Moj Madhouse and together they will create content that will reach their millions of followers on Moj. Bringing the influencers/ creators from different places/ genres at one place and facilitating collaboration between them, helps in developing a sense of belongingness feeling towards Moj. This will be a month-long activity.

Continuing to invest, invent and innovate its content strategy and spread of short video platforms, Moj has initiated this collaboration of Moj Madhouse activity keeping in mind all the COVID-19 precautions.

In conversation with Adgully, Shashank Shekhar, Director - Content Strategy Moj, speaks about the Moj Madhouse initiative, growth of short video platforms in the pandemic period, grooming the creators and influencers, the road ahead and more.

How do you think initiatives like Moj Madhouse give your platform an edge over competitors like Instagram Reels, etc.?

It is our constant endeavour to empower our creator community with the best creation tools and a conducive environment for innovative content creation. Moj Madhouse is a step in that direction. With a similar philosophy and intent, Moj Madhouse has been conceptualised to essentially drive our creator community towards creating engaging content for the 120 million monthly active user community on the platform.

How do you see the growth of Indian short video platforms in the last 2-3 years? What kind of acceleration did you see during the pandemic period last year?

In the past three years, short video content has been evolving as the preferred mode of content consumption on social media, and this trend exploded to greater heights in 2020. Indian audiences are hungry for short videos now more than ever, swiping up more for fresh and entertaining content. This clubbed with a phenomenal increase in the number of short video content creators, has set in motion an unstoppable flywheel.

In the year 2020 we saw a variety of content creators, creating very unique and niche short video content. As the video creation increased, more videos were available for consumption, which led to further engagement and sharing, and this ultimately resulted in more demand. This growth can be attributed to the efforts of all the short video content creators in India.

Moj was launched in July 2020, and it has witnessed tremendous growth since its inception, with 120 million monthly active users. We have also observed our users spending an average of 34 minutes daily on the platform, thus showing the stickiness and popularity of the product.

How are you engaging the content creator community, especially in challenging times like these?

Our creators are the soul of our platform. We equip them with handy creation tools, empowering them to become digital influencers while showcasing their talents. For our creator community, we have a program to nurture their talent and help them build a robust content supply on the platform.

At present, we have tens of thousands of creators enrolled in the Moj Creators Program, through which we assist them to build their content strategy, train and groom them. As part of this program, we look to encourage and grow high-quality creators on the platform by organising workshops, training, and more initiatives to help them succeed on the platform.

Furthermore, we are investing in providing creators more tools to help them create engaging and fun, original content, thereby diversifying our content platter.

Moj recently released its first campaign. Could you tell us about your communication strategy? How do you want to position yourself, especially among the Gen Z?

In a very short time span, Moj has emerged as India’s #1 short video app. It has become the preferred entertainment solution in the short video space. However, as a young brand, we want to reach every single Indian out there and make Moj synonymous with short videos.

With the new campaign, #SwipeUpWithMoj, we are focussing on the ‘Swipe-up’ gesture as it opens up the world of entertainment with boundless content on the app. The ad campaign is designed to accelerate and expand the app’s messaging as the ultimate destination for entertainment for everyone and to build a stronger brand connection and capture a larger market share among the audience.

We are optimistic about the campaign and we believe the campaign will help us build a deeper connection with our audience, and more importantly, help Moj to become synonymous with the short video landscape in India, with the ‘SwipeUp’ gesture.

Mohalla Tech, Moj’s parent company recently entered the Unicorn club. How does this Fortify Moj’s foothold in the Indian market, especially as it plans to attract brand advertisers?

In our road towards growth, we are strengthening Moj with more creators and relevant content for our community. At present, we are focused on building the right combination of scale, content, and platform offering before we build a strong ecosystem for brands.

Moj feed recommendation engine with cutting-edge AI and ML helps to provide the most interesting and relevant content for each user. The platform allows users to experience the home-grown version of a short video platform and explore infinite entertainment opportunities with just a Swipe-Up.

We have seen immense interest from brands organically and did some pilot experimentation with premium brands like Fanta, FlipKart and OkCredit and will scale our offerings to other advertisers soon. Our branded hashtag campaign for Fanta was immensely successful.

From the long list of content creators who have been selected to be a part of Moj Madhouse, Adgully was able to speak with a few of them on their association with Moj, their entire experience as well as connecting with other creators from across India.

PriyankaTyagi: An influencer with 3.1 million followers on Moj app 

Association with Moj: It makes me feel like a star. The kind of appreciation I receive on Moj is overwhelming and it pushes me to work harder and create more exciting content.

Connecting with other content creators: Moj always comes up with amazing activities for their creators – they organise fun virtual games, Live sessions, so that different creators can connect easily and collaborate even when they are physically not together. Moj Madhouse is a very unique and one of the best ideas for creators from different parts of India to come together, connect and learn from each other.

The experience: These five days I’ve had a blast. The creators here were amazing. The Moj family took care of the smallest of details, so we could put our focus on content creation.

Mohak Narang: An influencer with 7.7 million followers on Moj

Association with Moj: It’s a superb feeling. MOJ understands its creator community’s needs and makes us feel at home. It feels good to see how they support and reward a good talent. I am proud to say that I am a MOJi.

Connecting with other content creators: MOJ Madhouse brings the best creators across India under one roof, which opens the door to many new creative ideas, collaborations. I could have never imagined dancing with a pro dancer, but MOJ Madhouse’s concept made it possible.

The experience: Overall it’s a beautiful feeling – living with beautiful humans, in a beautiful house, along a beautiful valley. It’s a good getaway, where we get to meet new people and also enhance our creativity through collaborations.

Sameer Mark: An influencer with 455k followers on Moj

Association with Moj: Moj is the best Indian short video platform and I thoroughly enjoy being a part of it.

Connecting with other content creators: It’s a very good feeling to be here at Madhouse, meeting creators from different parts of India, interacting with them, learning from them, and collaborating while showcasing my talent. It is a one-of-a-kind experience.

The experience: It has been a very positive experience. While the situation has been challenging in the world, Moj Madhouse gave us a beautiful getaway, where we were isolated while taking all the safety measures.

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