We are publishing an interview of Mr. Piyush Arya, Founder, CTO, MyMovieRack.
Please tell us about the founders
MyMovieRack was started as a hobby project in college. After college placement, watching movies & TV show was our religion. Its then we realized the then level of content personalization was still under-baked. There, we saw an avenue where we could merge our passion for movies and TV shows with our love of technology and bring forth a service for users which provides them with the personalized content recommendation and intuitive discovery platform. Launched in 2012, after tasting success through initial beta among our internal network, we opened to the public two years ago.
Here is the core team:
- Piyush Arya – Founder & CTO, Machine Learning Expert, 5+ years experience in developing new large-scale solutions.
- Manish Pandey – MBA graduate, Product & Business Development, 3+ years experience in product development and evangelization.
- Sumit Gupta – Growth Hacking, Marketing and Community Development, 4+ years experience in next-gen startups and driving growth.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
The world has seen a disruption in how content ( rich media & entertainment) is being created and consumed. Therein, the biggest differentiator in the core value proposition that current players in the game can offer is making entertainment personalized.
We took to data and insights to validate our hypotheses. From our initial extensive primary research, and conversations with film and TV show communities, we found out:
- People were spending more time on finding a movie/TV Show that they like than actually watching it.
- Most didn’t relate to critics consensus. At times, they felt that critics were heavily biased towards certain aspect or factor, which the users didn’t even relate to.
- With high-speed internet, accessing content is easy but what to watch next is difficult.
- Communities were flooded with request for recommendation.
These data-points helped up build a solution to address the above problem in most simplistic yet effective manner.
What is the uniqueness about your Startup?
Uniqueness is useless unless it provides value to the customers/users. We try to answer the question through two principals:
- What’s in it for them? (the users)
- What’s in it for us? ( we, the MyMovieRack team)
To answer the first, we offer feelings based rating, reviewing of films and TV shows. This construct is not only intuitive but also more organic compared to usual stars based systems. On the other hand, this makes it easier to rate and discover films and TV show and also to classify and recommend them. For eg. you can easily look for philosophical-mind-bending movies (https://goo.gl/9p5yuL) or emotional – tear jerker (https://goo.gl/B4jER1) or just simply lighthearted comedy (https://goo.gl/UEwPxB).
Moreover, our user-centric approach has been instrumental in delighting our users. We offer a social-integrated platform with personalized dashboards, diary and tracking features and much more. Everything that a movie buff wants at one place.
For the second question, What’s in it for us? we have one simple word: “Kick”
What is the revenue model? Explain your thought process.
As of now, we have been focusing on community building and gaining user trust, which is the most valuable currency in the entertainment-tech industry. We are aggressively expanding our feelings library, and adding asset support of regional languages such as Telugu, Tamil etc. But to keep the light bulbs glowing in the meantime:
- We offer PR Media kits to production houses and marketing agencies of films(both international and local releases).
- We offer ad-space to affiliates.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Our consumer base is all movie and TV show lovers, who are accessing content over conventional channels as well as on-demand streaming channels. Our current focus is avid movie and TV show watchers who can be our early adopters as well as influencers to bring more users to our platform.
What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how?
With the rise in tech penetration and internet adoption, there is a huge opportunity for on-demand content. We want to be recommender engine for all such services.
In future, we wish to materialize our vision of making entertainment personalized where everyone gets access to content which he/she likes. Subsequently, we wish to be in a position for the first go-to platform for discovering, discussing, rating and recommending films and TV shows.
Considering the current context of our local market, we see an exciting future of on-demand video channels where there is no dearth of supply or demand. As a platform, we would not only provide the best suitable content recommendation to our user-base, but also provide content creators an active platform to list their content, however niche or localized.
We see ourselves as the most active enabler of the Indian OTT ecosystem.
What is the success story of your startup in your own words?
MyMovieRack had a steep learning curve in transitioning from a hobby project of few geeks to a polished product for users. What kept us inspiring during our beta (no marketing ) phase is a bunch of users who were addicted to the platform and kept coming back to it, no matter how the product looked like, even recommending to their friends. This is when we knew that our product was solving a problem and motivated us to keep striving to make it even better to scale it up.
The other constraints were time and money. However, we employ and keep coming up with innovative methods such as collaborations, SEOs, negotiations, viral marketing etc. to keep the light bulbs glowing and grow organically, in a sustainable manner.
Aiming to build the first crowd-sourced feeling based library, the platform has organically grown to more than 150K monthly active users spread across 170+ countries, in a span of 2 years. It has achieved such a success through its user-centric approach of serving its user base.
Being ranked high in organic results, trumping the big media houses with deep pockets ensures the trust of users in us. There is no better success metric for us than positive feedback from users across several countries and dozens of states.
Delivering personalized experience at a universal scale is our biggest success till date.
Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
Just a shout-out to all movie & TV buffs “You can be the part of the mission in creating the largest crowd-sourced feeling based library. All you have to do is rate your favorite and unique movie collection on MyMovieRack and our platform will do the rest”.
Visit MyMovieRack.com for more details.
Thanks Piyush. Best of luck!