IN A SPACE OF ITS OWN
So how exactly does Travelxp set itself apart from other lifestyle channels in India? Chothani insists the difference lies in its content. “Ours is a 100 percent travel channel. There is no other channel like Travelxp, because the other lifestyle channels also have content like fashion, décor, food, etc. So we are in a space of our own,” he explains.
All the content on the channel is created in-house and not outsourced, Chothani tells us. With content in 12 different languages, Travelxp has widened its presence to over 90 million homes around the world. In India, the channel produces content in English, Hindi, Bengali and Tamil. For overseas markets, the content is adapted in German, Croatian, Serbian, Czech and other languages. Having recently launched in Singapore and Canada, Chothani believes there is still a lot of scope for growth. He remarks, “Latin America is our next big foray because that is the only part of the world that we are not present in. By 2021, we want to be in 200 million homes worldwide. We want to be available in every country in the world! We want to position ourselves as the world’s biggest travel channel, and as the biggest travel influencer brand.”
THE DEMONETIZATION TWIST
The channel decided to get advertisers on board for the first time just before demonetization happened in 2016. Chothani points out that despite the fact that demonetization hit Travelxp hard, much like other companies in the business, the impact wasn’t as much simply because they had followed an ad-free business model until then. “Our growth over the past two years was lesser than we anticipated because of demonetization and then GST, but we are still happy with our revenue growth, which was at 30% in the first year. Last year, we grew at about 40%,” he adds.
TAKING 4KHD TO THE WORLD
Travelxp was also the first channel to introduce 4KHD technology in 2016 in the US, though the technology is still to make its way to the Indian market. “We are betting big on 4KHD. Now that we have launched in Europe, North America and APAC markets with this technology, India should also hopefully follow suit by the end of this year, as also Latin America. We were in fact the first channel to launch in 4KHD in several countries around the world; something that we are very proud of,” Chothani adds.
With consumption patterns changing and with the Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms growing, Travelxp has plans to launch its own OTT platform. “We want to launch our own OTT platform differently, much like we did for our linear channel business. Hopefully before the end of this year, you will hear from us on this front,” Chothani signs off.