Post Thumb
Aditi Shrivastava

The media and entertainment sector truly became a backbone for how people make decisions,  think and buy or consume in 2022, making it a remarkable year for the industry, as per Aditi Shrivastava, Co-Founder and CEO, Pocket Aces.

“Given this, we at Pocket Aces have a huge power as a media company that is a culture creator for the youth, and take the responsibility of influencing people positively very seriously,” she said.

She further also pointed out that because of the shift in consumer behaviour, media has become even more core to the sales and marketing of products and services for advertisers across every sector. 

“Every company is building its social media pages to connect with its customers daily, is relying on influencers to amplify its reach, and is buying slots to reach the premium consumer base of OTT audiences,” she said.

Keeping this in mind, Pocket Aces has actively helped build this mindset among Indian advertisers by providing solutions to more than 100 advertisers across channels, Shrivastava said.

Additionally, she also emphasised that Pocket Aces’ core channel FilterCopy has also continued to be one of the most-loved short-form content channels across the Indian internet reaching 50 million people weekly in 2022 as well.

Apart from their core offerings, Pocket Aces added a new infotainment channel- Nutshell, last year. Since its launch, Nutshell has crossed the one million benchmark in terms of Instagram followers in a matter of few months, Shrivastava stated.

Moving on to how Pocket Aces will be consciously focusing on strategically expanding its short-form channels in its effort to connect directly with larger audience bases, Shrivastava stated that the onset of 5G will be a game changer in 2023.

“One of the biggest trends of 2022 that will only accelerate in 2023 is the relevance of digital influencers for consumers and advertisers,” she suggested.

It is also to be noted that Pocket Aces’ influencer management arm- Clout is building on the creator ecosystem by managing over 100 actors and influencers across categories, further reaching to approximately 70 million people on a weekly basis.

Giving a glimpse of what’s in-store for Pocket Aces’ Clout in 2023, Shrivastava stated that the influencer management arm would not only be expanding its roster in existing categories, but will foray into new categories such as gaming influencers, along with launching products with some of its biggest influencers. 

Commenting on the current state of the OTT landscape in the country, Shrivastava said that OTT as a medium continues to grow several fold since the pandemic, owing to which Pocket Aces’ studio arm- Dice Media continues to specialise and provide for the needs of 18-35-year-old audiences there. 

Shrivastava also emphasised that the company had released over 15 web series across platforms and has inked a long-term partnership with Viacom Studios in addition to completing the production of their first international remake ‘Jane The Virgin’ with Voot.

She stated that because regional content had become a pan-India phenomenon in 2022, as a result of which Pocket Aces also forayed into Telugu by creating highly appreciated series ‘Alludu Garu’ and ‘#BFF’ on Aha. 

“Audio content as a habit is still nascent in India, but is surely growing. To get a foot in on this, we gave our audiences audio extensions of their favourite shows on Audible,” she said.

Moving ahead, Shrivastava also predicted that audiences will continue to prefer OTT to theatres en masse, and only flock to theatres for watching content that needs to be experienced on the large screen in 2023.

In her opinion, the content-to-commerce approach has gained huge traction as consumers make decisions based on content and advertisers look to further reduce their CAC. 

She further added, “You will see Dice Media expanding across genres, and also releasing its first feature film!”

Coming back to how Pocket Aces will be scaling in 2023, Shrivastava said that the company plans to leverage on the popularity of its food channel Gobble, and run successful pilots of merchandises for various Dice Media shows, as the audiences are willing to spend on owning pieces or memorabilia of their favourite IPs.

Summing up the year 2022 for Pocket Aces, Shrivastava focussed that the previous year forced everyone to focus on financial sustainability, but Pocket Aces’ platform-agnostic approach served them well.

“Focusing on business fundamentals and high gross margins never goes out of fashion. We stuck to our guts even in the bull market of 2021, and in 2022 and we scaled revenues and made a marked shift towards profitability,” she added.