Our Focus is on Building More Engaging Digital Event Formats: Shreyas Srinivasan, Paytm Insider
by Mugdha Gaonkar Entertainment | January 19, 2021 | Interview
Paytm Insider Shreyas Srinivasan
The world is slowly warming up to getting outdoors after the lockdown, with safe and carefully planned out-of-home entertainment. Leading event discovery and ticketing platform Paytm Insider has been at the forefront of facilitating this, through innovative ideas, content creation and execution.
In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Shreyas Srinivasan, CEO of Paytm Insider, lets us in on how the entertainment platform is functioning, revenue comparison between virtual and ticketing events, challenges faced and more.
Tell us about the high points as well as the challenges at Paytm Insider over the last few months.
The challenge of translating what was earlier a physical experience into an engaging digital format has led us to work closely with organisers to develop new show formats. We’d been quick to move and update our event publishing and ticketing solution, helping organisers take their events online in three simple steps. This move, along with our early efforts to develop digital events, starting last year, has helped us scale up digital events swiftly. The focus for the events sector is now on further developing the ability to deliver a great experience for fans in new and interactive digital formats. The latest venture in this direction was with Bacardi NH7 Weekender, where we brought home the music festival to over 50,000 fans.
Please take us through the consumption pattern you have noticed for live events during the lockdown and now.
Over the last few months, we have hosted 11,000+ digital events providing technical expertise, along with pricing and marketing insights, to assist organisers in building these formats. With the understanding that the consumer mindset is one of learning, growth and wellness at this time, we expanded the range of events available to consumers in these categories, even as we have continued to provide new digital experiences in live music and comedy. You will now find a range of events from dance workshops, yoga sessions and meditation, to financial planning workshops, theatres and courses on building your own business, marketing and more. About 60% of the events we listed were workshop-focused. While workshops will continue to be a key proposition, comedy and music are slowly making a come-back with smaller venues in cities opening up.
How did Paytm Insider cope in terms of business during the lockdown, and how has it been faring as the lockdown is being lifted gradually?
As soon as lockdown hit, we took some time to figure how to build products that will help organisers figure digital experiences. Within a couple of months, we upgraded our self-publishing platform with additional DIY aspects like communication, easy hosting, interactive features and introduced a simpler and quicker way for organisers to publish their pre-recorded content. There are now over 700+ digital events online each week on Paytm Insider. And 20-30 events in the top metros. We continue to focus on building a platform that enhances the digital event-going experience while supporting organisers who are hosting on-ground events.
What makes you stand out over other leading entertainment and ticketing platforms?
We are nimble and understand the events space well. This, coupled with our association with a network of organisers we have been working with for more than six years, has helped us build solutions and products that they can use to build richer experiences both online and on-ground.
Which are the trends and best practices of this time that are likely to stay in the industry beyond the COVID-19 pandemic?
Even as offline events come back, it’s still going to take some time for it to return to the scale it was pre-COVID. We think digital events will continue to exist as they allow a greater number of people to interact with artistes and ideas, simply by removing the limitation of reaching a set location. This is an opportunity to grow attending audiences from a local to a global scale. We also see hybrid variations of physical events and digital events, going forward.
In terms of the revenue model, will virtual or hybrid events be more feasible as live events are restricted to a limited number of attendees?
Absolutely. A hybrid model will ensure safety as well as high quality viewing experience from wherever you are.
What are the initiatives or activations that you have planned for the near future through Paytm Insider? What will be your priorities going ahead?
We continue to stay focused on truly delivering the full scale of what a digital experience could be. We are further building platform tools to deliver success for creators and organisers, helping them build more engaging digital formats for their communities.
In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Shreyas Srinivasan, CEO of Paytm Insider, lets us in on how the platform is functioning, revenue comparison between virtual and physical events, challenges