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WittyFeed sets the 'STAGE' to deepen the OTT roots for Bharat STAGE is the umbrella brand and a result of the company's evolved vision to cater to the new Bharat

By Puneet Kapani

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To bridge the gap for local and dialect-based content in India for multilingual Indians, and in-line with the government of India's mission of "vocal for local', STAGE aims to celebrate the glory of Bharat (India) in its most authentic and relatable form through two brand-new offerings.

STAGE OTT is the first-ever artist-led and dialect-based hyperlocal short-form entertainment OTT platform, offering unique and original content in local dialects such as Haryanavi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, Konkani, etc., for the next billion users through art forms such as comedy, folk, poetry, storytelling and motivational content. It is committed to bringing original content in Indian dialects that showcases the depth, history, honesty and integrity of the country.

Nukkad by STAGE

'Nukkad by STAGE' creates information-led satire based shows for Bharat audiences on topics such as financial literacy, fake news, health and fitness and sports, etc.

Nukkad by STAGE brings world-class sensible and satire-based content on the lines of popular Comedy Central shows by Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah to Bharat in a language they understand. In August 2020, Nukkad by STAGE witnessed a reach of over 50 million-plus and engagement of 3 million-plus across its content on different platforms.

Moreover, to optimize for the PGC (professionally generated content) has always been created in a centralized manner—content never went beyond language when in reality the whole Bharat speaks "dialects' such as Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Malwani, Kolhapuri, etc. These dialects represent a Bharatwasi's connection to his roots and the incredible stories that his ancestors narrated—'Nukkad Natak', 'Kavi Sammelan' or folk tales, stand-up comedies, and more. The dialect, the delivery, and the local context made those stories relatable.

In fact, a YouGov India 2019 report stated that the probability of consuming content in one's native language seems to be high, with around eight in ten claiming they would watch foreign (82 per cent) or regional content (78 per cent) if it was made available to watch in their mother tongue. This further reinstates the fact that there is an absolute white space in Bharat for a product that provides good quality and relatable content.

STAGE v/s other OTT platforms

"At STAGE, we aim to revolutionize the way 450 million-plus Bharatwasis consume content and build a new category for professionally generated and sensible content in not just local Indian languages but also different dialects such as Haryanavi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, Konkani, etc. For all companies solving for Bharat, OTT, or otherwise, vernacular means Indian languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, etc, whereas, we believe the natural form of communication in Bharat happens in dialects, and STAGE is the first of its kind," says co-founders Vinay Singhal and Shashank Vaishnav.

It is India's first-ever artist-led content platform. All OTT platforms across the world mostly rely on movies and Web-series as their content format, whereas, natural form of entertainment for Bharat happens through different performing arts embedded in their lifestyles such as comedy, poetry, folk, storytelling, and motivational videos.

Relevance with "Go vocal for local' scheme

It is completely aligned with the government of India's mission to "Go vocal for local'. It is important to understand the need gap for local and dialect-based content in India for multilingual Bharatwasis. There are so many stories of our heritage and culture that the audience wants to read and witness. They are also served dubbed foreign shows in the name of local and customized content. However, none of this represents Bharat.

"At STAGE, we aim to celebrate the glory of Bharat in its most authentic and relatable form. We are creating relevant and professionally-generated content for Bharatwasis in dialects and contextually relevant formats. Our primary audience "Bharat' is defined as everyone in India using the internet minus the top 10 per cent of users. This makes for 450 million consumers as part of our addressable market as on date," says co-founder Praveen Singhal.

The vision behind a dialect-based OTT platform is to offer Bharatwasis premium, sensible, context-driven, and professionally-generated content hence representing the real essence of Bharat.

Puneet Kapani

Former Features Editor

Puneet Kapani, former features editor for Entrepreneur India, is self-driven and passionate about happenings and nuances of the world. She writes on lifestyle, gadgets, beauty, wellness, entertainment and technology updates around the globe. She has previously worked with L’Officiel India magazine, FHM Magazine and Times Internet. 

Catch a glimpse of her work at @PuneetKapani on LinkedIn and @puneetkapani on Instagram.

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