In conversation with Media Samosa, Vikram Chandra, founder, Editorji shares his story of starting the platform after looking at issues in the industry and figuring changes required in the ecosystem.
Vikram Chandra, founder, Editorji Technologies feels that his company is not just another content company or a provider of video. “We are looking at an ecosystem change,” he says, a position that has been very clear since the beginning and beyond. Chandra feels that it is the era of short-form content in 2019. He adds that Editorji is in the business of informing people about what is happening in 20-second videos. Here’s more from the chat.
What has been the biggest challenge for Editorji so far?
If there is one thing we didn’t completely anticipate, it would be that it takes a fair amount of time to explain to people what we do, including the option to record your opinions. We had thought it was a relatively simple format. However, the number of features on offer is quite a lot and we have even had to hide a few.
How many reporters and other editorial staff is associated with Editorji at the moment?
Currently, we have 50 full-time content people who help put up 200 videos on a daily basis. We don’t have any reporters. Information is widely available everywhere now. Getting information is not problematic. We don’t require reporters to do a piece to the camera. We are in the business of giving basic information that people need, in 20 seconds video. We don’t need people on the ground.
2019 elections were when you did ground reports as well. Is that something Editorji is looking to expand on?
There is nothing television news does better than elections. For purely digital platforms like us, competition is not as much a concern for us on other days. However, elections were a landmark event for us for we were to demonstrate that we could deliver. I am not saying that we will never report. We may. It is just a question of when, where, what and how. We did Twitter dialogues and got a lot of video views. However, elections are not something we could have covered sitting in the office. It is important to get out on that day, so we did. Technology is something we are concentrating on, but as and when required, we will go out on the field.
Do you feel personalised news hinders free access to the information?
We are using AI to deliver a personalised newscast and our tagline is that this is the news that fits you. Now, ‘fit’ here doesn’t mean we will you give exactly what you want. If you go to a tailor and ask for red pompoms to be sewn on a formal shirt, doesn’t mean they will do exactly the way you ask. We keep your choices and preferences in mind while creating a newscast that suits you. However, it is not entirely based on your preferences. It is a hybrid system. We are using AI but the editorial judgement is also involved.
Do you feel there is a distinction between news and content?
It depends on how you define it. People need news, they need information. Some of it is political news and hard news. However, there are other pieces of information too — food, lifestyle, entertainment, business, sports. We are trying to find a way to give it to people in the most seamless way possible. You get it all at a tap. You swipe and move on.
Where does Editorji fit in?
We view ourselves as technology more than anything else. We want to work with multiple partners, including content creators. We are not in competition with TV channels. They do long interviews, we deal with 20-seconds videos. However, we can help content providers with the content discovery by say, putting up a promo for the hour-long TV interview.
What is your process of vetting stories?
We have some of the most experienced television and video journalists in the business. Around 7 or 8 in our team have over 15 years of experience in television news. They vet the stories. At the end of the day, any news channel is made by the video news producers and editors that they have for they know what to do. If in doubt, we don’t carry it. We are very conservative that way.
What are the tools you use at Editorji?
Some of our tools are proprietary. We use AI in a lot of things and work with various providers and partners. We are doing a bit of everything and there are a number of different models are working on, including new ways to do things.
Any specifics you can share?
If you can use AI to disrupt content, you can use AI to have an impact on ad detect as well. We are working on AI to help in targetted delivery of brand solutions. It is a big area where we are doing some really cutting edge work. However, it’s a bit premature right now. Let’s see how it goes.