In the series of interviews with market leaders, change-makers, and innovators, we bring our next interview with an entrepreneur and visionary, Mr. Shashank Singh, CEO & Co-Founder, FLYX.
FLYX is the first streaming social network that helps all users quickly find what and where to watch through the use of a unique algorithm that focuses on aggregating reviews from friends, family, and contacts that you trust most on content across all major streaming platforms.
Shashank Singh is the CEO & Cofounder of Flyx, a New York-based social network platform for OTT content. With over 18 years of experience in consulting, media, and technology Shashank has worked across product engineering, product management, and product marketing. He has a proven track record of using technology to identify unmet consumer needs and capturing the early adopters market. At Flyx he has set the overall strategic roadmap for the company, drives product development, customer experience, technology, and marketing. Shashank comes with a strong technology background and specializes in Big-Data, AI, Machine Learning, and has a keen interest in blockchain technology.
Before his current entrepreneurial avatar, he was the CTO of Datarmax, a platform facilitating first-party data exchange directly between businesses and individuals. Before that, he was Vice President Engineering for Publicis Media. At Publicis Media, he led the development of its proprietary Data Management Platform (DMP) and built the next generation data pipelines. He also co-founded three mobile start-ups: Truffle, Steams, and Majikal. Passionate about entrepreneurship, technology startups, he spends a significant amount of time in the startup ecosystem mentoring young companies. He is a regular speaker at various industry forums & a part of the Forbes Technology Council.
He has a Masters in Business Administration (Finance & Entrepreneurship) from the prestigious NYU Stern School of Business and a BE in Computer Science.
Let’s hear what he has to say:
- What exactly is FLYX and what was the idea behind it?
Flyx was born out of the real struggle to find content to watch where we eventually ended up asking our friends and family for suggestions. Market research by Nielsen shows that 66% of our video watching behavior is influenced by friends and family and another research showed that on average people end up spending more than 24 minutes to find something to watch. The core principle behind Flyx is to reduce time in the decision-making and discover great content to watch from the people you trust most with their taste. There are a plethora of options available in the market today but none of them have a great social experience. There is a huge need for a social platform where people can connect with people they trust and discuss and share their thoughts and views on movies and shows.
- What is the USP of FLYX and the unique features of App?
Flyx is a one of its kind highly interactive and fun social platform, where users can engage with their friends and followers through stories, private and group chats, shareable lists, watch trailers, read news & reviews, create shareable lists, and exchange notes and comments with followers about the new and upcoming releases.
It is linked with 100+ major streaming players like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Hulu, iTunes, Quibi, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Hotstar, Google Play, and many more. The app is available for free download on both the Apple and Google Play stores.
The team at Flyx is currently working on some cool exciting features which will be released in the coming months.
- What is the strategy to capture the Indian audience?
Flyx was launched in private invite-only beta earlier this year and we were planning a late-summer or early monsoon release but then COVID-19 happened and we suddenly saw a huge spike in activity within our small group of 500 private beta testers. Our friends and family wanted to invite their friends into the app and demanded that Flyx be launched. So, in short, COVID-19 forced us to advance our launch, and so far the response has been overwhelming. We are focusing on India as it is home to more than 40+ OTT platforms and is the second-largest market predicted to reach $5 billion in size by 2023.
We have also accelerated our product development roadmap and have quite a few very exciting features launching soon.
- How has COVID impacted the OTT industry? How do you see this growth?
The streaming wars were already getting fiercer but with COVID-19 lockdowns, it has come to the forefront. In the last five years, the streaming industry has spent more than $650 billion in acquisitions and content creation to woo consumers. All this has done is to add more content in front of users and has created “content overload”. Content and cost do represent the biggest factors in what makes people subscribe to a streaming video service, but another equally important factor is the ease of use where technology becomes the differentiating factor.
Deloitte in its recent digital trends survey found that streaming during COVID-19 compared to the pre-pandemic market is not so much “before and after” as it is “before and faster.” People are signing up for services quickly and are leaving services even faster. With almost every streaming service offering free trials, consumers are lapping up the trials, but the real test is retention with not just great content but also great technology.
- What are your thoughts about the future of the OTT industry?
I expect the next decade in streaming will be very exciting and also very challenging. Winners will not only be decided by who has the best content but also who has the most advanced technology to make the service more intelligent and super easy to use. Ultimately, the streaming wars will empower consumers and also revolutionize how they consume media. Here again, artificial intelligence and machine learning could play a big role in automatically classifying the content and generating full disclosures about the content about to be consumed.
- What are your learnings as an entrepreneur?
My learnings as an entrepreneur have been many. As an entrepreneur, I have learned that one person cannot do everything and it is okay to ask for help, the most important thing about entrepreneurship is not just the idea but the team which is responsible for the execution. An awesome team can take a mediocre idea and still make a great business out of it but a bad team can take an awesome idea and still end up as a failure. A true entrepreneurs’ job is first to create a great team and then become an enabler to remove any roadblocks and make sure they function the best.
Last but not the least, being an entrepreneur has taught me to think clearly and have a well laid out vision and plan.
- Any tips for upcoming digital entrepreneurs.
The world is evolving at a rapid pace and pandemic has brought accelerated digitization in spheres of life. An entrepreneur needs to be aware of the ever-changing technology landscape and should make sure the problem they are solving is a real problem and not just their personal bias.
Team Next Big Brand extends heartiest wishes to Shashank Singh and the amazing team at FLYX. Kudos to him for such an amazing and insightful interview.
You can check our other interviews here.