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WittyFeed has announced its rebranding into a hyper-localised, professionally generated content platform, Nukkad by Stage, and launched Stage, an artist-led and dialect-based OTT platform.

Also, read: How WittyFeed devises CatchUp strategy after Facebook-shocker

Bridging the need gap for local and dialect-based content in India for multilingual Indians and in line with the government of India’s ‘Go vocal for local’ mission, Stage aims to celebrate the glory of ‘Bharat’ in its most authentic and relatable form.

The OTT platform will strive to offer unique and original content in local dialects such as Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Bundelkhandi, Bhojpuri, etc., through art forms such as comedy, folk, poetry, storytelling and motivational content. It has already garnered enthusiastic response in its beta stage in Haryanavi.

‘Nukkad by Stage’ is inspired by everyday conversations of ‘Bharatwasis’ that often happen at local tea stalls, community meetings, street corners. It offers informative yet entertaining and relatable content (short-format videos) in the form of fictional character-led shows under entertainment, politics, health, fake news, tech, culture, sports, lifestyle, and even finance. It aims to bring satire-based content on the lines of popular Comedy Central shows by Jimmy Fallon and Trevor Noah to India in a language that’s inclusive and familiar. Along with bringing professionally generated original content, Nukkad aims to fill the void for sensible content tackling complex issues such as financial literacy, current affairs and more.

In April 2019, WittyFeed also launched ‘CatchUp’, a social infotainment start-up.

Stage Founders
Stage Founders

Vinay Singhal, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Stage, said, “Content consumption in India has seen a tremendous shift in the last few years with hyper-local content taking the lead across the country, including metros. The rise in internet penetration and smartphone usage has led to this shift. The audience in India is looking for a platform that truly represents them and caters to their dialect. At Stage, we aim to revolutionise the way 450 million+ Bharatwasis consume content and build a new category for professionally generated and sensible content in not just local Indian languages but also dialects. Stage is committed to bringing original content in Indian dialects that showcase the depth, history, honesty, and integrity of Bharat.”

“At Stage, we strongly believe in the power of consumer stories and the art of storytelling. Through Nukkad by Stage, a customer-first offering, we are engaging ‘Bharatwasis’ to become part of conversations that matter, ranging from financial literacy to new-age experiences, to current affairs and more, in a language that includes them rather than alienating them. We are doing this through the lens of fun characters with a familiar backstory addressing challenges, issues, and cultivating conversations that Bharatwasis relate to in short-video formats,” said Parveen Singhal, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer, Stage.

Shashank Vaishnav, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Stage, added, “Technology has enabled content to reach nooks and corners of India, but we believe that it isn't engaging for and does not truly represent ‘Bharatwasis’. We have built an innovative, analytics and technology-driven platform bespoke to the consumption behaviour of new-age millennials of the country. We are leveraging robust technology and in-house designs to offer a swift user experience and introduce a brand new generation to the grandeur of ‘Bharat’.”

In July 2020, Nukkad by Stage witnessed a reach of over 108 million and an engagement of 3 million across its platforms. Shows on Nukkad by Stage are led by fictional characters similar to the ones that are often found hanging out on the nukkads, chai points and addas of Bharat — Bubbly (dedicated to the movie-buffs), Raja Beta (tackles the complex topic of financial literacy), Raju Panchayati (has an opinion on everything under the sun and shares interesting, important and educational conversations with Bharat), Nicky AIMS (health and fitness show that focuses on how we can take preventive measures). These unique characters host weekly shows aligned to their characters across Nukkad’s properties: Bubbly chali B-town, P bole to paisa, Paanch ka Punch, Beyond prescription, Sach saaf hai, First Time?.