DS: When was the official launch of dubai ON demand?
EL HOUNI: dubai ON demand had two successful launch events at the end of 2015. The first event was a private pre-launch to thank all of our partners who have made the production possible and introduce potential sponsors to the channel. The second was a public presenter hunt event which engaged our fan base and gave the public an opportunity to win a professionally produced pilot on our dubai ON demand YouTube channel. The details of this were announced at a press conference at DIFF and led to a great turnout with budding presenters sending us their video entries and culminating in an elimination based challenge event with the public ultimately voting for their favourite host.
DS: How has the channel been received so far?
Our first full series launched at the start of January 2016 which is Aishwarya Ajit’s Makeup Basics Series. We have a new episode out weekly where Aishwarya shares her makeup tips and how-to’s. We have had a great response to the series and to the channel as a whole. Brands and organisations have shown an interest in getting involved with the channel, have appreciated the quality of our content and are keen to work with our presenters. We have also had an overwhelming response from potential presenters who are keen to collaborate with us and create even more diverse and niche content.
DS: How is the channel (or individuals programmes) performing in terms of views?
The shift of strategy to focus on a presenter at a time has been a good move for us allowing us to build our fan base one individual niche at a time. We are experiencing a steady increase in terms of views, with some of our more popular videos reaching close to 50,000 views each and our channel as a whole reaching well over a million views. Faraz’ CrossFit series has shown us that niche content can outperform our expectations.
DS: Are there any more plans for 2016 that can be discussed?
We are currently working on our second series with our presenter Dina Butti focussing on all things related to parenting and kids. The series will showcase everything from cool unique hidden treasures for your kids, to experiences for parents to enjoy with their new borns. We are hoping to work with more children’s brands over the coming months. We have also had some great success with our CrossFit series with Faraz Javed so hoping to collaborate with more fitness brands to take this to the next level. It’s an exciting time as we are being approached by a number of personalities who are keen to be part of dubai ON demand and we are still on a mission to be a channel of niches. For us to achieve this, scaling up is the key so we are still open to investment partners to ensure dubai ON demand is the go to channel for online lifestyle content from the UAE.