Q&A: Rishi Kapoor, founder of paus, shares an insight into their unique streaming service

Founder and CEO of paus, Rishi Kapoor shares an insight into the inspiration behind paus and what impact its unique tipping feature has had on subscriber growth.

Rishi is an experienced professional in film distribution both UK and Internationally. A former executive at Sony Pictures, Universal
Studios, Warner Bros. and Disney. After many years working on distribution deals with Netflix, Amazon and Apple, he turned his attention to the independent film space, supporting independent filmmakers at paus.tv.

 

What’s the origin of paus? And what did you set out to achieve at the beginning?

Having worked in the commercial space for such a long time with big brands, I felt content was becoming increasingly commoditized and manufactured. And as a film enthusiast, I could see the authenticity being lost because the models weren’t there to support content that had smaller audiences. If you’re Netflix, for example, spending billions of dollars on content, you have to make content with mass appeal, which means many fantastic stories that may not attract millions of people just get lost. So I wanted to solve a problem for niche content that wasn’t being solved as the traditional model of one-size-fits-all didn’t fit all.

What was the inspiration behind the paus’ unique tipping feature? And how does revenue share with independent filmmakers work?

In my opinion, no model was fair for creators and audiences. The free ad-based model can require lots of traction for any meaningful revenue to be earned. And at the same time, there was a rise in this creator economy. Creators were moving online to target their audience directly and monetize without involving a distributor or sales agent or getting a deal with a big streaming service. I was particularly inspired by other creative economy platforms such as Patreon and OnlyFans. They were solving this issue but for other industries and creators, such as influencers and musicians. They proved that people want to support the creators they like and inspired the tipping model for paus.

At paus, filmmakers take 80% of the revenue, and we keep 20%. The feature is fully integrated and seamless on the platform. For example, if someone watches a film in London on paus and opts to tip, the filmmaker in New York will receive their share within minutes. Interestingly, Twitter, Snapchat and Clubhouse have also both recently launched their own tipping feature. So I think we may soon see a shift in how the internet is monetized with more direct-to-consumer payment models supporting creators.

What impact has the tipping feature had on content acquisition?

For content owners, it’s really easy to get drowned out on a one-size-fits-all platform, like Amazon Prime, where you have independent films sitting alongside blockbusters such as Jurassic World. 

The paus model gives more back to the filmmakers. So yes, it’s tipping, but it’s coupled with a platform that’s free to use and is a dedicated space for independent film. I believe the paus model and the exposure from a dedicated platform are two things that drive creators to our platform.

What are paus’ long-term growth plans? And how does a platform provider like Magine Pro enable you to meet those goals?

We want to work with more filmmakers around the world and provide them with more tools to be able to monetize. We’re not just a tipping platform; we want to do other things, integrating merchandise, ticketed events and anything that creates a fair reward for filmmakers to monetize from their fans. Magine Pro lets us focus our money and attention on the filmmakers and our marketing efforts and spend less time worrying about creating a world-class streaming service in-house. They have given us the foundation and infrastructure to focus on serving the creative community much better.

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Read the Q&A in full in our latest white paper, OTT Discovery: How to stand out amongst the crowd and learn more about how paus’ unique tipping feature has impacted their marketing efforts and the discoverability of the service. Rishi also offers those considering starting their own streaming service.

To find out more about paus, an independent film service that is uniquely powered by tips, check out our case study. For more information on Magine Pro’s OTT solutions and services, head here.

 

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