SoftBank-backed content creator company Jellysmack announces India launch
SoftBank-backed global digital media and content creator company Jellysmack has entered the Indian market with its creator programme. The company will be starting its India operations with 21 content creators in Hindi and English, helping them diversify their portfolio across major platforms Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube to fuel their growth, a top executive at the firm told YourStory.
The company plans on taking the number of Indian content creators on its platform to 100 by the end of the year.
As part of its creator programme which is now open to Indian content creators as well, Jellysmack will offer payments ranging from $50,000 to $50 million to qualifying creators.
Jellysmack which manages over 500 influential content creators such as MrBeast, PewDiePie, Brad Mondo, among others has set aside $750 million for global expansion across Mexico, Brazil, India as well as France, Germany and the UK.
Founded in 2016 by Michael Philippe, Robin Sabban, and Swann Maizil, Jellysmack was valued at over $1 billion in its last round of funding from SoftBank in May 2021. The amount was undisclosed.
For its India launch, Jellysmack has signed on influencers such as Kanak’s Kitchen, Triggered Insaan and Faisal Khan. Jellysmack plans on increasing the number of creators in India and partnering with content platforms across Indian languages to tap into the content creator market across Indian languages.
Vipasha Joshi, Country Manager for Jellysmack India, and Laurent Hulin, General Manager of Jellysmack APAC, spoke to YourStory at length about the company’s plans for India.
YourStory (YS) Why is India an important market for Jellysmack?
Laurent Hulin (LH): We are helping creators unlock their full potential across multiple platforms with zero risk on their side. We bring expertise across multiple platforms. So if you're a YouTuber, we are going to help you to go on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.
We've in-house technology for content creators to grow across multiple platforms.
And we've started in the US and Europe, mainly France. But since last year, we have started to push for an international expansion, especially APAC, because of the audience and because what's happening here is a key priority for us.
YS: How are your contracts with Indian content creators going to be structured? Will you also work with talent agencies?
Vipasha Joshi (VJ): We are working on the revenue sharing model in India as well. Globally, our contract remains the same, our model remains the same. Even if we are working with a partner agency, our contracts are directly with the creator. With respect to the talent agencies, we work with them on getting their creators an avenue to expand.
Our internal tech helps us identify potential partners, the creators we can reach out to, which creators have seen growth, and what are the trends across platforms. The way we curate our list of creators for Snapchat is different from Facebook, which is again different from YouTube. As India has a lot of talent agencies as well, we are partnering with most of them to foster talent.
YS: How do you plan to tap into the network of content creators in Indian languages?
VJ: Currently, we are working across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram. Some homegrown partners have reached out to us and shown interest.
We have signed on 21 creators and we are making sure we are able to bring them on the traditional platforms, but the next step is going to be partnership with homegrown apps. We have started with two languages, English and Hindi.
However, the potential even with Indian languages, not just locally, but globally is immense, and in the last two years, since the exit of TikTok, homegrown apps, six to seven of them have massively grown. Our vision is also to see how we can partner with not just the traditional platforms, but how these growing platforms are bringing in a significant number of content creators giving them some new avenues and their revenue stream.
YS: What is the vision for Jellysmack’s India operations going ahead?
VJ: The India team is currently at a strength of 25. And it's a constant hiring process that I've been in for the last two months as well.
We are still in the process of hiring because now we have 21 creators, and we are looking at closing the year with around 100 creators and partners.
My vision is to have 80 people in the India team by December 2022.
Q. What are the parameters you typically look at for partnering with a content creator?
LH: It's something that comes back to the basics for us, being very precise about the creators. We look at key parameters such as, what's the size of their (content) library, what's the quality of the library, what's the frequency of the library, what's the engagement rate, what kind of origins do they have.
I guess each platform is different, but at the end of the day, we're talking about creating content for a specific audience. So, each platform has different kinds of parameters that we need to put together. Our teams are able to analyse precisely what is the specific requirement for each platform, what is common, and identify the right creators and help them produce the right kind of content that will drive acquisition and retention.