Closer look at Fakt Marathi content overhaul with Shyam Malekar

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Building a positive perception is a challenge for a three-year-old channel and Fakt Marathi is doing its best to woo audiences with quality content.

Fakt Marathi is a free to air Marathi channel that was launched in 2016. In an attempt to up the ante, in July 2019, two new primetime shows were launched — Dhoomdhadaka and Sindhu. While the former is a humorous stressbuster, the latter depicts a story set in the 19th century. These shows are the channel’s attempt to set itself apart from the over-the-top dramatic tales of relationships between women.

Appreciating the rich theatre experience that Maharashtrians are familiar with, Shyam Malekar, Business Head, Fakt Marathi, tells us that the audiences here are highly evolved. He adds that people here are choosy about entertainment, even if it’s free. Leveraging the strong regional appeal in the content on offer, efforts have been made to serve Fakt Marathi as a complete family entertainment channel. Malekar tells us more about the behind-the-scenes operations at play.

How have the last three years been for the channel when it comes to strategy and lessons learnt on the way?

The journey has been incredible so far. Fakt Marathi has not only sustained but witnessed organic, week-on-week growth in all the markets. We are constantly trying to understand the entertainment needs of our audiences, improve our distribution channel and build the movie library. So far, we have been able to curate content for over 50 different types of festivals, according to varied themes, special days and seasonal flavours. Our vision is to grow slow and steady, giving our audiences a good entertainment experience.

Briefly tell us about the marketing strategy of Fakt Marathi. 

We believe in hygienic and organic growth. So, we took a conscious decision to not go for extensive marketing as a strategy. Social media works well for us in connecting directly with our audiences.

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Could you tell us more about the social media strategy at play?

Fakt Marathi is extensively promoted across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. With the level of immediate connectivity of common masses, Facebook works best for us. Marathi, as a language, is on the verge of tremendous digital expansion and we would like it to be included in the Facebook monetisation policies for video sharing. When it comes to hashtag optimisation, it is still pretty much in the nascent stage when it comes to the digital medium. However, positive changes are expected in the near future.

Could you tell us about your current viewership numbers?

According to BARC, currently Fakt Marathi Ranks 2 and with regards to total viewership, it is 3.5 Crore viewers per week.

What’s the way ahead for Fakt Marathi?

We want to establish Fakt Marathi as a brand. We have recently started fresh content creation with the launch of Sindhu (Fiction) and Dhoomdhadaka (Non-fiction). Another couple of projects are in the pipeline and there’s an interesting programming roadmap ahead.

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