Pandemic spurred explosion of content consumption in small-town India

Understanding what the user or consumer wants, which is helpful in creating content, is the key to understanding the creator economy. But, ‘what the user or consumer wants is changing by the minute.

Ever since the pandemic, the inclination towards consuming short-form content increased all around the world, but it took off especially in smaller towns and cities in India. As more and more people from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities came online, they looked for explainer content that could help them provide for themselves and for their families.

At Josh Talks, a vast majority (approximately 80 per cent) of our audience belongs to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, aged between 18 and 34 years. The desire among this audience is not just to consume ‘entertaining’ content, but also to learn by way of associating themselves to a role model or community and do that by consuming content in their preferred languages.

Releasing new and engaging content in regional languages, that is specifically helpful to non-English speakers, has contributed greatly to our user base.

At Josh Talks, we are adding value to our users’ personal and professional lives by curating content that helps them progress in their lives. We recognise that there is a lot of diversity in terms of who watches what type of content.

Audiences are likely to be retained significantly when they are provided content that adds high value in a short span of time. This is why, as a creator or even a platform in the creator ecosystem, it is crucial to research, understand their needs and curate accordingly.

Over the last seven years, we have grown our content platform into 10 regional languages and expanded to include informative categories of Josh Talks Aasha (a women centric channel), Josh Money (providing content on financial literacy to youth from Tier 2 and beyond cities), and Josh Maati (highlighting stories from the grassroots of India).

Additionally, since a large portion of our audience aspires to take the government exams, we launched Josh Talks UPSC and Josh Talks IAS Academy to cater to their needs.

Going forward, we will continue to focus on the needs and aspirations of our audience and curate content accordingly. Since a large part of our audience on the Josh Talks Hindi channel belongs to Bihar, we recently launched Josh Talks Bihar which has witnessed quick growth in a short span of time. We are also going hyper-local to address micro-audiences and are set to launch district-specific channels starting with Josh Talks Darbhanga.

Across all our channels, we have received more than 2 Billion lifetime views. We release an average of 230 videos every month that garner more than 100 Million monthly views. Our online community has grown to 18.1 Million subscribers, majority of whom belong to Tier 2+ cities.

(Dev Chaudhary is Head of Josh Talks, which is available in 10 languages and has 100 million average monthly views across all platforms. The views expressed are personal)

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