Future of Work: Founders of Classplus and Rooter weigh in on content creation in a post-pandemic world
'Content' is now an all-pervasive term on the internet. Everything from text to images and voice to video — live or non-live — qualifies as content. You could be in sectors as disparate as gaming and teaching, and still be called a "content creator" .
But, when hundreds of millions of people create tonnes of content every day, the challenge, especially for businesses that make money off it, is to make it stand out.
How do they do that, especially at a time when content volumes have exploded?
At Future of Work 2021,flagship product-design-tech conference, Mukul Rustagi, Co-founder and CEO of , and Piyush Kumar, Founder and CEO of Sports Technologies, shared key insights on creating, distributing, and monetising content in education and gaming, respectively.
Content matters because "our culture is built around content, and Indians are gluttons for content", Piyush says. "The new internet user's first point of contact on the web is content."
Classplus Founder Mukul Rustagi and Rooter Founder Piyush Kumar at Future of Work 2021
Edtech startup Classplus, which describes itself as a "Shopify for teachers", is in the business of disseminating and monetising content for teachers and educators.
"Educators are great content creators. We enable them — academic or non-academic — to launch their coaching centre online. We have built functionalities to help these creators engage with their students better, and also disseminate their content faster."
Classplus, which was founded in 2018, grew at a rapid pace during the pandemic, and also saw tutors and teachers from Tier III and IV towns joining the platform.
"Good content creators stand out. Last year, we saw someone generate lots of money out of their content. The monetary power also allows them to re-invest in the quality of content and get a team to build more quality. We also saw people from Tier III and IV towns gain a handsome following from across the country," he explained.
While Sequoia-backed Classplus is focused on the dissemination of content, live game-streaming platform Rooter looks at both creation and distribution.
Rooter Sports is one of India's largest game streaming platforms
Piyush shares, "Our game is both content creation and distribution. We've built tools needed to stream the gaming content well and we also help top gamers create content around battle royale games, which their community wants to learn from."
Rooter's focus is on tapping into vernacular communities to help local gamers expand their reach. The platform is available in 10 Indian languages besides English.
"When we pivoted in March-April 2020, we started building gaming communities in Tamil and Telugu, and it is insane how gamers followed the top streamers in their community. Within 30 seconds, 15,000 concurrent viewers were live to watch a Free Fire game streamed."
"It is about how people create content to build their communities. If they create content in vernacular, they become indispensable. The way to win the market is to enable these streamers make more money than on YouTube," Piyush adds.
Classplus' Mukul concurs on the importance of vernacular content on the Indian internet. "More than nine-tenth of the content that gets created on our platform is vernacular. It works very well and gets adopted faster," he reveals.
"Short videos also work well, but in our case, text content works better. You would be surprised by the kids' affinity to consume text content versus watching videos or slides," he adds.
Despite operating in very disparate segments, both Classplus and Rooter reckon content needs "community" to fly. Platforms need evangelists and "product champions" to scale in a cluttered content space.
Piyush says, "We have 40,000-50,000 game streams happening per day. In India, we always have the volume; we just have to build tech to scale that volume. And, if you build the right community teams, the right content will always win."
"At the end of the day, content creators know best what works for them," he adds.
A big shout out to our Future of Work 2021 Co-presenting Sponsors Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Unique Solutions; Digital Excellence Partner, Google Cloud; Associate Sponsor HP and Intel; and Sponsors: Atlassian, Freight Tiger, Archon I Cohesity, TeamViewer, and Pocket Aces.