Looking ahead: Tamada Media rides the digital boom

In its 10th year, Tamada Media looks back at its many achievements with pride

Tamada Media is a link that connects YouTube content creators Mahathalli, Dhethadi,webseries Geeta Subrahmanyam (aha) and Kailasapuram (Zee5) or channels wirally.com and filmyfocus.com to regional influencer marketing platform Hashify. Working on multiple platforms and formats has been a forte of this Hyderabad-based digital content company. From creating/producing content to distributing it on various internet platforms, branding, marketing, managing media and TV clients, partnering with OTT platforms, Tamada has worked across various digital platforms

The mood is jubilant at the Tamada Office in Jubiliee Hills. Starting as a small business as in a 750-square feet apartment in Himayatnagar, Tamada is now gearing up to celebrate its 10th anniversary in May — a journey marked by many milestones for founders Rahul Tamada and his friend Saideep Reddy Borra.

The enterprise was founded with ₹30,000 that Rahul borrowed from home. “We initially had no idea where the company was going,” admits Rahul. That was when digital content story was just about to take off and YouTube had begun monetising its content. Sensing an opportunity Tamada transformed, albeit for a short while, into a service provider, distributing content of TV channels on YouTube, and sharing the revenue.

Webseries Geetha Subramanyam | Photo Credit: special arrangement

Exploring alternatives, Tamada established Runwayreels (2012), a channel for short filmmakers. “In those days, making a short film was a herculean task with limited resources. We became the bridge to fulfil film dreams,” he shares. From holding auditions, finding teams and providing a production budget for editing, dubbing, and post-production bill as well as travel and food expenses were covered by the company. Tharun Bhasckar, Venkatesh Maha, Pavan Sadineni and Karthik Gattemaneni and Sree Vishnu (actor) were associated with the platform before establishing themselves in the Telugu film industry. “After a lot of ups and downs, we realised it creates an ecosystem for talent but not something that is viable in the long run,” he explains.

Inspired by Super Woman and Raven Johnson creating a niche in the digital domain, Tamada shifted gears to create a community of followers and launched Mahathalli Mahanubhavudu a 10-episode series on their channel wirally.com. A quirky Telugu girl describing relatable situations in humorous ways, Mahatalli as a brand met with success and led to unveiling the YouTube channel Mahatalli that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.

A slew of YouTube channels followed, including Dethadi, Pakkinti Kurradu, Wirally (15 channels in Telugu) Araathi and Narikootam in Tamil and Kaemi in Malayalam.

The network that clocks around 1 billion views a month is now in the OTT space, having produced around 30 shows across Zee 5, Sony Liv, MX Player and aha in Telugu and is looking at Tamil and Malayalam too. “We have two offices in Hyderabad and one each in Chennai and Kochi,” he says proudly.

Rahul continues “If you are not able to catch up to the changing landscape, you become obsolete. One needs to adapt and move forward with a vision. We saw how the advertisement budget was moving digitally and made changes. Human capital has been our biggest capital investment.”

The pandemic took Tamada to a new level. “It was blessing in disguise for us; time. When it hit us first, we didn’t know if we could survive it, but things fell in place and there was more viewership and revenue.”

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