As the demand for short content rises, independent digital agency Schbang has launched a new division, The Global Content Hub. In an interview with Storyboard18, Harshil Karia, founder of Schbang, says, “The business model is simply to bridge the gap in the existing market on quality content creation whether it be video/audio or static imagery.” Karia tells us about the agency’s big picture on content production and key trends in video storytelling.
How different will The Global Content Hub be from Schbang's existing production services? What will it bring to the table?
The objective of The Global Content Hub will be short-term content creation while the production house - Schbang Motion Pictures will be focusing on creating long-form video assets with long-term brand recall. There is a need to differentiate between long-term and short-term content. Long-term content has repeat value and can be used across media. It requires planning, research and skill to develop. The short-term content has a low shelf life and are produced quickly as brands have to keep pushing out content. While Schbang Motion Pictures will develop long-term assets, The Global Content Hub will focus on developing assets with a shorter shelf life. It will also cater to a much larger audience, onboarding agencies and creators and influencers in addition to brands.
How big is The Global Content Hub team going to be? What kind of talent are you planning to onboard?
The team currently is an 8-member team with talents that are producers, directors, photographers, videographers and art directors. We are looking to expand the team and get in more creatively driven talents to join us as we grow the service in the next few months. The team will be operating individually primarily out of Mumbai and Bangalore as we have set-up two studio spaces in both locations for creators, brands, and agencies to rent out and shoot with us. The focus is on a global outreach business plan, to be able to shoot with global businesses and global brands.
Will The Global Content Hub work closely with Schbang's existing clients or will it pitch for a different set of brands? What is the business model?
The Global Content Hub will cater to brands, but it will also go way beyond brands. It will include influencers, agencies, and companies. And yes, it will be offered as a value added service for our existing clientele while we are building the business with a digital-first ideology. We already are getting enquiries from D2C and e-commerce brands. The business model is simply to bridge the gap in the existing market on quality content creation whether it be video/audio or static imagery.
How did the company identify the need gap? What's the big strategy? Also, how does this new division fit into Schbang's network play?
Digital content is becoming the most integral part of marketing strategy. We are in a world where brands and creators have to keep pushing out the short forms of different forms to engage with users. There is a need in the market to build these short-term assets which have a short shelf life with a quick turnaround time. This is also because it is also essential to jump on trends within 48-72 hours for gaining maximum traction to be able to stay relevant for many brands. The Global Content Hub will cater to this need of the market.
The Schbang Network is a different play in this case. The new division is an extension of our existing business for an audience that is looking for a player to solve their challenges in the content creation of short-term assets. The network plays a different role, a role of enabling young startups to scale, capture market that is untapped and create a larger impact across the country.
What according to you are the big trends in videos? Are marketers doing enough? What are the unexplored areas?
Videos are gaining more importance than ever before. It is important for brands to have both long-term assets and short-term assets. Some short terms assets, like reels, are also used to drive traffic to the long-term assets. However, the variety included in videos is constantly evolving. Videos have integrated artificial intelligence, augmented reality, 360-degree views and animation.
Marketers are also trying to find new ways to integrate this variety into their content while continuing to look for newer tech integrations well.
How are brands responding to the hyper-short video content format that’s out there across social apps?
Platforms and the algorithm of platforms are pushing hyper short content whether it is YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels or any other apps. Brands need to take a call on whether to participate in it or not. For the brands that do participate in it, they are using a combination of micro-influencers, creators and product-based short-term content. This content is packaged to showcase the value of products through stop-motions, motion mapping, cut mapping, etc.
Within our ecosystem, Kotak 811 is creating short-term content really well. We have also built short videos on food-based content for brands like Domino’s and London Dairy.
With consumers’ attention span shrinking, do you think the appetite for long-format content will fade away with time? What are real viewerships trends that you are noticing?
I do not think that long-term content will fade. However, long-term assets have to be built with perfection to capture consumers’ attention. These assets require research, testing and planning to build an asset which has repeat value. A long-term asset used to have a repeat value of about 3-5 years, which has now shrunk. However, brands need both long-term assets and assets which have a short shelf life. The short-term assets have be constantly pushed out to engage with consumers because the attention span is shrinking. Brands can use The Global Content Hub to create a wide variety of short video assets which have a short shelf life. For instance, GCH is currently working on a series of reels for Fevicol on Instagram.
Are platforms like Instagram and other Indian apps working for brands today or creators? What’s your take?
I think platforms are working for creators because platforms are working to serve their audience. Therefore, brands have to work like creators to get the most out of the platform.