How does traditional TV bridge the digital divide? Star Plus shows the way with a collaboration with YouTuber, Nisha Madhulika.

The thin line between traditional TV and the digital world is getting blurred with each passing day. What we are witnessing today is the unmatched power of the creator economy, which is dispelling the age-old notions of content creation, distribution, and revenue generation. 

The traditional linear TV has realised the potential of the creator economy in catering to a wider entertainment-hungry audience who are spoilt for choices with a plethora of avenues at their disposal. The result is the wonderful amalgamation of the traditional TV and the creator economy in wonderful ways.  

A classic case of such an amalgamation is the recent collaboration between leading Hindi GEC Star Plus, the flagship channel of Disney Star, and famous YouTuber, Nisha Madhulika. Nisha has pioneered the food blogging market and helped many women through her blogs and YouTube videos. 

The collaboration is for the channel’s fiction offering ‘Banni Chow Home Delivery,’ which started airing on May 30. A household name in the HGEC space, the channel has taken the initiative to integrate ‘Banni Chow Home Delivery’, a show which features an empowered self-made woman’s journey, with Nisha Madhulika’s YouTube channel, featuring ‘Banni’ and Nisha herself. 

This show is aimed at showcasing the story of a young and vivacious entrepreneur, Banni, who runs a food delivery business where she cooks home-cooked meals for those who miss their home-cooked food. The character Banni is on a journey to becoming a self-made entrepreneur just like Nisha Madhulika.

This first-of-its-kind collaboration takes the ‘traditional meets new-age media’ to another level, and creates a harmony between both the digital and television audiences, unlocking a new media landscape. 

Nisha Madhulika has been featured in YouTube’s own spotlight campaigns and encourages each of her viewers, mostly consisting of housewives who are eager to learn new things on a digital platform. They aim to bring content in a meaningful manner, to the new set of audiences who straddle both digital and television, through this never-seen-before collaboration of YouTube and HGEC.

Nisha, a UP-based home chef, started her journey with a blog. She launched a YouTube channel with her recipes in 2011, eventually rising to become India’s #1 female YouTuber, and the 15th biggest YouTube in India, with a subscriber base of 13 mn. The lion majority of her audience consists of a female base with the highest viewership between ages 25-34 in Hindi-speaking markets. 

This is the first time a prominent GEC has engaged with a non-linear celebrity in a meaningful and impactful way. The idea has been to go beyond the usual format of short-term paid engagement to create a series of videos which bring out the synergies between their TV character and a real-life Youtuber. This unique association will help Star Plus in providing a roadmap to reach out to a wider audience, eventually bridging the much-needed digital divide. 

Nisha Madhulika has rightly pointed out that a collaboration like this will be the next big thing for content creators. “It is a sure-fire way to expand the reach of niche audiences to offer more value to both brands. It’s about growing each other’s communities to build a strong content ecosystem. Such associations for content makers and content creators like me can be a crucial link for brands to leverage to tap more viewers across geographies,” she says. 

Indeed, in the days to come, we are sure to witness more such collaborations and traditional TV channels are looking for ways to associate with the stars from the creator economy. 

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