Consumer loyalty rests with the content and creator- Samir Bangara, CEO, Qyuki

With an aim to become the largest online broadcasting network for youth in India by empowering creators and creating businesses with a soul, Qyuki aspires to keep at the cutting edge of discovering and backing 'what’s new'. CEO Samir Bangara shares the idea that led to Qyuki, its vision and its success with the recent event Jammin. Excerpts from his interview.


Q1- Qyuki is a platform for artists on a global level, how did it come into action, and how is it benefiting the artists?
A few years ago Shekhar Kapur and I reconnected over breakfast. I was already setting up a venture with Sagar Gokhale which incidentally became our eventual business plan for Qyuki. Shekhar and I connected at a fundamental level of empowering creators in a new world with no gatekeepers. He believes that everyone is born creative and some of us lose our creative mojo as we progress in life. With the growth of smart phones not only as consumption devices but also as video production machines, the lines between a creator and consumer are blurring. A tsunami of content is thus being created but this is a challenge as much as it is an opportunity. Creators need technology, tools, marketing, PR, distribution support and Production support. This is where we felt Qyuki could step in and make an impact in a large and growing market.

Q2- You give your artists the freedom to monetize and distribute their content on various platforms, how does this help the brand to grow?
We are quite clear that consumer loyalty rests with the content and creator. This is more apparent on digital. The key is to know whom to back long term. We've built the knowhow and the technology to help us discover - at scale - whom to back as a long term creator. We have removed a lot of the human intervention out of this so there are no preconceived biases in what is good and what great content isn’t. We do our own analytics act as creative director. Isn't that what we all, especially the youth are in search of?

Q3-You have recently executed an event called Jammin’, what was the thought behind it and how did it evolve?
Jammin' was designed to bring together the world of Bollywood's leading music composers with the top YouTube stars. Having worked with both these worlds, we realized that the industry dynamics weren't allowing the new breed of digital super stars to collaborate with the super star composers of Bollywood. Jammin' made that partnership possible with the goal of creating a new genre of non-film Bollywood music - music that was contemporary and composed by Bollywood's best composers but not for a film. With ten original tracks including a mega collaboration of AR Rahman with all the YouTube stars, we ended up with tens of millions of views, over half a million hours of watch time and a concert with all the composers and YouTube stars performing live in front of thousands of screaming fans.

Q4. Tell us about your partnerships?
We work closely with several agencies. Some of them are more future ready and digital focused and we tend to work more closely with these partners. YouTube continues to be a very close collaborator in our large projects.

Q6- Who are notable artists who you have been able to promote with Qyuki?
SANAM Band, India's largest online music sensation, FunkYou, India's largest pranks channel, Powerdrift and Motorbeam the fastest growing automobile channels online are just some examples of Qyuki's long standing creator partners whom we have worked with for years.

Q7- Tell us about the long term vision for Qyuki?
We are building India's largest creator network and leveraging it to build the first cross platform media company with a digital DNA. Discovery will always begin on digital but our revenue scale may come from within and outside of digital.

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