Eloelo, a social gaming and a live entertainment app, was launched in 2020 by Saurabh Pandey and Akshay Dubey, two former Flipkart executives. Today, the app stands tall among the top five in the entertainment category on Google Playstore in India.According to Statista, the games live-streaming market in India is projected to touch a revenue of $178.40 million by 2023. Storyboard18 caught up with Nisheeth Pandey, COO, Eloelo who discussed the evolution of the segment, the rivals to Eloelo, the marketing strategies to differentiate themselves, the early days, and a lot more.
How has the live entertainment and social gaming segment evolved since the launch of Eloelo?
I think the evolution has been gradual. And right now, there are some very clear trends emerging in the industry.
If you look at live streaming historically, whether live streaming on Instagram or Facebook, it has been used as a broadcasting medium for the longest time. But what seems to be emerging as a trend—which we are seeing on the app very clearly—is the interactivity between the creator or the host in a live stream. The users on the live stream are basically driving the followers.
If I have to talk about the evolution of live streams, I will clearly say that it is becoming a more interactive medium rather than just a broadcast medium.
What were the initial challenges? And what are the challenges today?
Earlier, the aim for us was to build a product fit for the market in terms of the kind of live stream people would like to participate in and the kind of creators they would want to interact with. As time went by, we have seen that a lot of the interactions happening on the app are between creators and users who find each other a lot more relatable.
Users also like to talk to creators who are extremely relatable for them where users tend to treat this app as a virtual third base. So the concept being that the first place in your life is basically your home and your family. The second place in your life is where you work and your colleagues. And then there is a third place in most of our lives in a real-life scenario where people basically go and hang out are a lot more relaxed and chilled.
They interact with other people in a non-judgemental kind of a setup. So Eloelo is being used by a lot of the users as a virtual third base wherein a lot of our users are coming to the app to interact with creators and other users and basically have conversations in a judgement-free and a constraint-free environment. That is where we are right now.Could you name the creators or influencers who hosted games and live shows on Eloelo during the initial phase? How has this space expanded on Eloelo?
We have had a long-running game show on the platform which is called Tambola Muqabla. It is a quintessential tambola game pack which, in the Indian context, everyone would have played with their families and with their friends. Tambola Mukabala //Muqabla? Please check// is something which has been active on the app for a long time. We have some in-house creators we work with who have been hosting the game show.
What has recently happened over the last couple of months is we have expanded the gamut of game shows to also include celebrities like Aakash Chopra (cricket commentator and YouTuber) and Rahul Dua (standup comedian and actor).
We are right now running a World Cup-based game show with (ex-cricketer) Aakash Chopra as we speak. In fact, one of the episodes was yesterday at 12 pm. And there is a Tol Mol Ke Bol game show which we are continuing with Rahul Dua.
So we are trying to experiment in this area and see what it is that a celeb might also bring to the table that can be a lot more exciting for the users.
Who are your competitors? What are the marketing strategies for staying ahead?
I will name (live streaming platform) Pococha as one. There is Rooter (also a live game streaming platform), but they are not strictly in the same space as we are.
Moj (a short video creation platform) also does live streaming, but it is not the core like what we focus on. There is Hololive (a social platform) and there are live streaming features on ShareChat.
On marketing strategies, I think the idea is to not become just another live-streaming app. And, we are trying to build the app around a core of building connections.
What are the trends you are witnessing in the live entertainment and social gaming space?
One of the very clear trends that we are witnessing is around interactivity. Let me give you an example from Aakash Chopra’s Diwan-e-Cricket show I mentioned. Celeb and fan interactions are becoming quite core to these kinds of live streams. There is this YouTuber named Niraj on our app who interacted with Aakash Chopra on one of the live streams. And he is a budding commentator.
On this live stream, Aakash Chopra gave him live tips on how to improve his cricket commentary. That is something you will probably not see in any other setting. Now, Niraj has kind of become a mini-celebrity on the app. He is now hosting his own cricket commentary shows where a few thousand people kind of engage and attend his live shows every time he comes onto the app.
This is a trend which I will call defining in a sense of the word because people are not just looking at broadcast live streams. They are looking to interact with the creator, and interact with the host. And these interactions are what we are trying to enable more and more as we go along.
How has the target audience evolved over?
Our target audience, in a line, would be defined as middle India. We are quite clear that we are an app that needs to cater to the masses. When I say middle India, we have people coming to the app from all walks of life.
There are people coming from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow and Patna. So we are not talking to an extremely influential audience.
Could you touch upon the revenue earned for FY23 and the ad spends?
In terms of revenue, we are right now in the initial phase of experimentation. I won’t be able to quote exact numbers at this point, but there are some extremely promising experiments we have done.
Over the course of next few weeks, we will see a very clear monetisation strategy that we go out to the market with on the basis of these experiments.
Could you highlight the role of influencer marketing on Eloelo?
I think it’s massive. Before Eloelo, I was working with Ola and even there, influencer marketing became extremely crucial because it is how people are now making decisions.
Influencers play a very key role in terms of how users take decisions right now, in terms of the kind of products they consume and the kind of services they engage with. So not just for Ola, I think influencer marketing for any marketer right now in the industry is extremely crucial to understand what kind of influencers are a good fit for your business and how to interact with them.
And what are your future marketing plans for the app?
We are building the app around the core of building connections. We want to build out a very clear brand strategy around this, which is kind of something we are already working on. A lot of our marketing right now is user-acquisition focused.
However, next year, the plans are to basically move away from just doing user acquisition to also building out a brand that is related to the middle India I talked about. And essentially becoming a go-to brand for any live-streaming engagement that you want to have as a user in the digital world. We basically want to be positioned as the go-to live-streaming platform in the country. That’s the brand we are trying to build. And sometime next year, you will see a lot of marketing activity from us on that app.This is the season of World Cup and ‘Diwan-e-Cricket’ by Aakash Chopra is being hosted on Eloelo. How profitable is this proving to be?
Aakash Chopra comes live on the app before every India match. Across the nine matches so far, we have had more than 2 million users on the app who have entered the live streams and been a part of them. We have had multiple people on every live stream of Aakash Chopra’s who have talked to him, discussed cricketing questions they might have, or just had their discussions about cricket.
And the quiz in that live stream with him called Diwan-e-Cricket… There are some lakhs of people who participate in the quiz in every episode. It’s basically given us a new avenue in terms of what directions live streaming on the app can take. And it has done that at a massive scale.
Also, in terms of the World Cup, I think all the interactions that we will see in this live stream that Aakash Chopra does are very pointedly about the India match that is taking place that day. It has created a dialogue around cricket and World Cup on the app, which I think is quite crucial for us also. Because as an app, we want to be relevant about what is happening in India, what’s happening in the country at all points of time. And right now, the biggest thing happening in the country is the World Cup. So I think this show has kind of been a torchbearer for us during the World Cup.