In a world where living virtually has become more of a necessity due to the ongoing pandemic, the value of online entertainment has escalated manifold. In The Daily Star's Youth Skills Summit 2020, the ever-changing dynamics of the online audience was discussed in the session, titled 'Creating Content for a Dynamic Internet Audience.' Held in association with SBK Tech Ventures, Shah Cement and Mountain Dew, the session was moderated by Md Sohan Haidear, CEO, Smartifier Academy. Star Youth, 10 Minute School, Preneur Lab and Youth Opportunities are the youth engagement partners of the summit.
"The key to understanding the content that will catch on lies in knowing your core audience," asserted Rumman R Kalam, founder of Rantages. Having worked on various types of content for the youth since 2008, Kalam feels that the creator must remain loyal to the opinions of their first hundred viewers. "As your audience grows, it will become tougher to cater to every segment of your audience," he said, touching on the dilemma that creators must overcome regarding the creative direction of any platform.
VOD platform Hoichoi, which has seen phenomenal success under its Country Lead Sakib R Khan, constantly comes up with new content for a vast audience. "We believe that when we are operating as a streaming site, it is crucial to give the audience the value for money," says Khan, "In this case, the content isn't necessarily relatable, but realistic." The core values of Hoichoi involves curating the content, which respects the intelligence of the audience. "You see, the audience is always changing – what was trending five years ago might even be frowned upon today," added Rumman R Kalam.
Safa Kabir, one of the most recognisable actors of this generation, shed light upon the fact that the expectations from the audience are different if the content provider is a female influencer. "I have used my time at home to make content for my YouTube channel," she says. "However, as a woman, people expect to see make-up tutorials and similar content as such from me. As Rumman mentioned, I have often faced dilemma on which content to focus on myself." Safa further attested that the work that she does in mainstream media and her online persona varies to a certain degree. "The fans would often want a peek into my personal life, what my home looks like and so on. I try to be as personable with them as possible, as they are my core audience."
The speakers agreed on the fact that irrespective of the landscape regarding content, creators need to be on their feet when it comes to innovation and research. Often, marketers grab at trending content and stick to it longer than its timeframe allows, resulting in stale and unrelatable product over the years. They key, therefore, lies in understanding what the audience really wants by keeping perspectives open at all times.