Hardly a weekend goes by when the 33-year-old Nitesh Kripalani doesn't play squash with his friends. And it's no casual game. "Sports has nurtured the competitive spirit in me, the spirit to win," he says. A die-hard sports lover, Kripalani played football and volleyball during his college days.
That competitive spirit has helped him become Executive Vice President (Business Development and New Media & Syndication) of television company Multi Screen Media (MSM), which owns channels such as Sony Entertainment, Sab TV and Set Max.
He says his greatest achievement in the past year has been the launch of the Sony Liv digital platform, an aggregation of content from all company channels, making MSM the first broadcaster to have an organised digital set-up. "The idea was to reach out to consumers in their own environment and enable them to consume our content as per their convenience," he says.
The platform, which turned one in January, has notched seven million downloads and 40 million unique visitors. Unlike most such aggregators, which use a subscription model, Sony Liv is ad-driven. Getting advertisers has been no cakewalk, says Kripalani. "The mindset to advertise on new media was not there. Convincing advertisers that streaming a TV show online won't hamper ratings was a challenge." But he says has locked one-year deals with brands such as Tourism Australia, Tata Motors and Axis Bank.
Sony Liv contributed around five per cent to MSM's top line last year. Kripalani aims for it to be 15 per cent in three years, and hopes to take Liv international by the year-end. "We want to get on platforms such as Apple TV and Google TV." He also plans explore the 'freemium' model, which is a mix of free and paid content.
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