Samridhi Katyal, co-founder of Fandrum, spoke extensively to exchange4media about the idea and inspiration behind Fandrum, which is a platform built with fans and related content at its core.
Excerpts from the conversation below:
What is the idea behind Fandrum?
Fandrum, as the name suggests, means fan as a person-noun, and drum here is the influencer. Thus, Fandrum is a fan as an influencer. Content is in control today. Consuming content is no longer a passive activity performed in the living room of the house. It is a choice that everyone makes and according to their own pleasure. People bond around content. And, hence the idea of a social media platform with fans or content as the backbone. Fans give content its meaning, its lifespan, its virality. When fans embrace the content, it becomes part of popular culture. Thus, fans are at the center of Fandrum’s content world.
Tell me about Fandrum and what makes it special.
Fandrum is our effort to connect fans around the world. Fandrum represents the identity of the fans. What makes it special are the fans themselves. In this world torn apart, this platform strives to be the happy place where people connect around movies, TV shows, and artists. It makes them happy and special.
You said “new generation”…
Social media requires a fulcrum, which is ubiquitous. With the advent of the internet, social media identity has become a thing. From Yahoo Messenger A/S/L (Age, Sex and Location) (read anonymous) to Orkut, which gave Facebook an identity and brought friends together, social media identity has evolved and remains an extension of reality – global identity of the person. The Internet is independent of real-world identity. Why should social media identity have limits in the real world? Why should you only be friends with people outside your school or co-workers. When you go to college, how do you make friends? Fan Quotient (measure of liking someone towards something) is the answer. It is universal and it is what fosters the greatest of friendships.
We are the “Next Generation” because it is no longer about “you” but about “yourself”. Live yourself on Fandrum and touch your interests, meet people like you.
You come from a media background. Is this what inspired you?
Absolutely. During my days at Star and Viacom, I had the privilege of attending meetings where the audience was small and like what… The biggest idea I had was that India is the biggest content producer to the world and that heroes/heroines enjoy the same level of fan devotion as gods. Similarly, cricket is a religion in India. So, while the fan quotient or factor exists in abundance, the opportunities to show it off are few, if any.
Fandrum is where fans can shout their fan quotient out loud without being judged. I myself am a fan of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and know how sometimes I have been judged. So, whether you are a fan of K soaps or leader or dubbed South Indian movies… this is the place for you.
How is your offering different from the fan communities we see on social media platforms?
Our USP is the ‘Fan Value Calculator’. We believe in measuring the intangible. The social equity that a fan puts behind a celebrity or content is true, and without any consideration. He fights for his fame. He defends it. But why is there no consideration? For any social contract, consideration is the main pillar. The Fan Value Calculator measures a fan’s social equity spend and then rewards them for the same. Thus, no longer a simple exercise of love but an exercise that would be recognized, rewarded and delighted.
Also, not all platforms were designed with fan communities as their main feature whereas the basic relationship in Fandrum is fan with its community. Additionally, we will serve the various other considerations that arise from content consumption such as content discovery, content exploration around content, and purchases.
Did you say Recognize, Reward and Rejoice? What kind of rewards can users expect?
The rewards would be both tangible and experiential. By tangible, I mean free subscriptions, goodies, etc. For fans, these are the experiential rewards we think they’d love. Meet a celebrity, attend a premiere, etc. are things that have not been easy to achieve if you do not have contacts, and we hope to bridge the gap between the celebrity and his super fans.
Super fans, can you elaborate?
Fandrum has a 7-step journey for every fan. A fan’s contribution to the fandom, a fan’s popularity in the fandom, and the fulfillment of their responsibilities to the fandom are what determine a fan’s stage.
This 7-step journey will be eventful, making every celebrity notice popular fans in their fandom. It is this social equity that a fan generates that will make a celebrity come to meet his fan. It’s the 7and stage who is the Super Fan and who will be the effort of each fan.
What can we expect in the future?
A platform available on all devices with proprietary fan features allowing fans to shout out who and why they are a fan. A community of like-minded people in their happy spheres, each rooting and showcasing their emotional fairness for their favorites.
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