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Sharing app SHAREit bets big on content curation

SHAREit has found a strong market in the sub-urban and rural areas of India. Among its 200 million monthly active users, 70 per cent are from outside top metro cities

Sonal Khetarpal   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 9, 2019  | 16:18 IST
Sharing app SHAREit bets big on content curation
SHAREit was launched in 2016.

During long journeys, we often see fellow passengers asking one another to share movies or videos they are watching on the phone. Since transferring heavy files takes time, content sharing platform SHAREit comes handy in such situations. Launched in 2015, SHAREit has become the default app for transferring heavy files. The app gained traction for its sheer convenience and speed to transfer huge files in areas of poor network and slow internet bandwidth.

With more people having access to the internet and consuming more content than ever thanks to the data revolution that Reliance Jio brought, content sharing has become a lot more common. That said, the file sharing app is now betting big on providing curated content on its app.

"Our value proposition has moved from data saving to convenience," says Karam Malhotra, CEO (India), VP Global, SHAREit. He explains that apps are becoming larger as more Indians tune in to gaming apps or want to share several videos (size of gaming app varies from 300-500 MB). Given poor data speed and low value data packs, downloading a heavy file can take hours for a typical Indian user. "It's just that they have a tool that allows them to share faster because the sharing speed is 50 Mbps versus the internet that can have a speed of 1 or 2 Mbps," he says.

The firm claims that 25 per cent of all app instalments in India happen through SHAREit. This caught the attention of Google Play last year and it installed seven of its APIs in SHAREit. It helps them get data on offline user behaviour and SHAREit gets a certification from Google about the authenticity of apps available on its platform.

The app has found a strong market in the sub-urban and rural areas of India. Among its 200 million monthly active users, 70 per cent are from outside top metro cities.

Since SHAREit has data on what people are sharing, Malhotra says they understand what people consume. "The idea is to simplify user journey so that they get the personalised content, which is easy to discover and share," he says.

But, isn't curation an entirely different business?

"It's not that we moved from sharing to curation, we're just growing the use-cases for sharing. So, instead of sharing from SHAREit, one can also find it on SHAREit," says Malhotra.

Last year the firm acquired South Indian movie app Fastfilmz to expand its content portfolio for its regional user base. The firm has also partnered with publishers such as Viacom, Times Music, Hungama, ALT Balaji, Hotstar for their content.

More and more platforms are betting on video content to grab user attention. Instagram has 'Videos You Might Like' section. Facebook has a new feature where videos can be saved to be seen offline later. Over the top players such as Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix are all betting big on content.

In the app, videos make for 35 per cent of shared content. Images and audios comprise 20 per cent each, while remaining 15 per cent comes from apps. The firm is planning to monetise the data through advertising and it intends to enter the payments segment.

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