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UCWeb looks to digitise entertainment with strategic pact with Colors

UCWeb Inc., an Alibaba Mobile Business Group Company, has launched a new UC Browser and announced its strategic partnership with Colors. The partnership with Colors for some of its shows is a reinforcement of the strategy of Alibaba Mobile Business Group to digitise entertainment content on mobile, while transforming itself from tool to content and further offer more comprehensive content options to users who access internet on the go.

The vision is to offer digitised entertainment and utilise strengths of volume and power of the browser in content aggregation and to provide quality content to as many users as possible.

The strategic partnership is being built around four marquee shows of Colors – ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, ‘24’, ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Comedy Nights Live’. As part of the collaboration, UCWeb will create multiple engagement platforms around these shows for the users of UC Browser, 9Apps and UC News.

After being on-boarded as the Trending Partner for ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, fans will have access to an exclusive fan zone on the homepage of UC Browser offering behind the scenes content. The host of the show, Manish Paul, will offer his whacky take on the show in the form of an exclusive blog. While the viewers of ‘24’ can have the entire experience replicated for them on a game, which will be first launched on 9Apps (UCWeb’s marketplace for mobile apps). The prime attraction is, however, ‘Bigg Boss Season 10’, where the users of UC Browser will have exclusive access to the footage behind the scenes; they can effectively choose the participants of the show, and much more.

Talking about the partnership, Robert Bu, General Manager, UCWeb India, said, “Our partnership with Colors is unique in its own way. The partnership seeks to build long term engagement for the content on Colors through multiple platforms such as blogs and behind the scenes videos, ensuring stickiness and long term engagement for these properties.”

He further noted, “Digital content consumption is on the rise and the challenge for content creators is to be able to customise, curate and present diverse content to users to strengthen their engagement. The solution that UC Browser is offering is ‘Digitised Entertainment’.”

Speaking about the collaboration, Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors, said, “Alliances are not just for visibility. Sometimes it is about ensuring the best user experience for consumers and enhanced viewer experience. At Colors, we have always believed in conducting business that meets our consumer’s needs. Today, our viewers are mostly mobile owing to which we can draw synergies with a popular mobile browser like UC Browser, thereby making our content appealing to audiences regardless of the type of screen they’re using. With content on-the-go becoming a lucrative option for today’s viewers, associating with a brand like UC Browser, for shows, including ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, ‘Bigg Boss 10’, ‘Comedy Nights Live’ and ‘24: Season 2’, allows us to explore different promotional strategies that make it a beneficial proposition for us.”

In Q1 FY 2016-17 results of Alibaba Group, UCWeb has played a significant role by strengthening company’s competitive positions in digital media and entertainment category. The digital media and entertainment segment of Alibaba Group operates businesses through multiple properties, including UCWeb.

According to content consumption trends on UC Browser’s base of 80 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India, eight out of the top 10 English keywords search are related to entertainment. The same number falls to three for Hindi keywords. In News related content, seven out of the top 10 Hindi news consumed is related to entertainment. Amongst Indian states, Maharashtra is, by far, the biggest consumption market in entertainment with over 42 per cent of the daily content consumption. Mumbai justifies as the tag of the Entertainment Capital of India as it ranks ahead of other metros, followed by Delhi and Kolkata.

The New UC Browser

UC Browser is India’s favourite mobile browser, with over 80 million MAUs and a market share of close to 50 per cent (Source StatCounter). The browser has brought faster internet access to millions of people residing in low bandwidth areas across the country. While the old browser just brought people on the internet, the New UC Browser recognises that now is the right time to offer the right content to the right user.  

The New UC Browser embraces adaptability by offering direct news feeds from UC News, an app exclusively launched for India market in June 2016. Once a user selects his favourite topics, the algorithm adapts and offers more information on the topic of his choice. The information is shareable, can be customised and is available in two languages – English and Hindi, which will later, also be available in other regional languages, starting with Tamil.

The personalised channel settings allow the users to choose their favourite news channels and make their own reading sequence, as per their individual preference. The user friendly browser also has a night mode feature that offers a convenient browsing experience during night.

Commenting on the growth and new strategy, Jack Huang, President, Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group, said, “Our new milestone of reaching 420 million MAUs has placed us at par with Twitter and Instagram. Our vision in the coming years after success in India is to serve half the population of the planet. Our strategy is to focus on ‘Glocalization’, which is going global by offering localised solutions in each market. We believe this strategy will lead us to a new digital era, which is GUF – Google, UCWeb and Facebook.”

We-Media Programme

After success in China, UCWeb has now launched its We-Media programme in India. The We-Media programme offers a common platform for all viewpoints to be present together in one place, whether from a celebrity, blogger, key influencer or a common man. As a part of the content strategy, We-Media aims to provide the users with a mix of both regular and niche content. We-Media programme has already onboarded Manish Paul, host of ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, as a celebrity blogger along with author Chetan Bhagat, celebrity dancer Lauren Gottlieb, and many more.

Manish Paul, who is blogging for the first time, said, “Blogging is totally different for me and so the moment UC Browser approached me for that, I was really excited because I always like to do something different. This way, I am able to connect with my fan faster and as it is huge, more people will be able to connect with me, and through my blogs I will be able to give them insights of ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’, about my films and whatever I am doing in my life. That’s really making it interesting.”

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