Arré India won the best in lifestyle, sports, entertainment award at the World Digital Media Awards presented at the World Media Congress gala dinner in Glasgow in Scotland on 2nd June 2019. The new media organization produces narratives across text, web series, fiction and non-fiction video, as well as short viral videos and sketches. Its work was named best in lifestyle, sports, entertainment website or mobile service, while R.AGE Malaysia a regular winner at the WDM Awards was named best branded content project. The global competition was contested by the winners from WAN-Ifra’s regional digital media competitions.
Owned by Mumbai-based UDigital, a company promoted by Ronnie Screwala Arré India who is perhaps one of India’s most perceptive media investors. He has invested in almost every type of new media start-up in the past three decades and also managed to successfully exit from several. Screwala’s co-promoters include B Saikumar and Ajay Chacko both formerly senior executives in TV18. The initial funding was said to be around Rs. 150 crore and the site went live in January 2016.
Arré is an exclamatory Hindi word that could mean a number of things – what, stop, or come on! The promoters say that it is a reflection of the disruptive content and its business model includes branded content and in the case of some content subscriptions. It is definitely an interesting and modern mix rooted in traditional cultural and music forms. For revenues, apart from advertising and subscriptions, a number of new kinds of tie-ups with consumer brands and service suppliers are envisioned.
Content is sourced and developed from several channels – all outsourced. Books, videos, poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, news features all come from professionals outside its own in-house team of about 25 persons. It has forged partnerships such as one with the Indian Express for producing investigative documentaries based on stories done by the daily’s staff. Reality shows are also a part of a dynamic menu envisioned by the founders and promoters.