TRAVEL STORYTELLING RISES TO NEW HEIGHTS: LIVE FROM EARTH MEDIA SET FOR LAUNCH
With a background in finance – working for American Express in New Delhi, then advertising market analysis and research, Dhruv Bhatia, Founder and CXO of “Live from Earth Media” has a particularly varied past. While he has been producing content for tourism companies for some years now, the upcoming opening of two extraordinary new web platforms will create an exceptional new dynamic. We asked him firstly to tell us a little more about his career path over the past decade.
I used to do a lot of contractual jobs for big agencies, and this was so successful that we created White Page International, which at the time dealt primarily with print advertising. As there was a lot of content work, it also required a great deal of creativity. After three or four years, I wanted to branch out into digital marketing and digital media, as demand was rapidly growing in these sectors. Facebook and Instagram and Twitter were no longer just social networks, they were business networks. So, in December 2016, I decided to move out of the agency and start a company on my own. I brought my concept and my ideas to a number of contacts I had developed over the years in the field of advertising and media. I presented the idea to the CEO of Zee network in the Middle East, who is not just a business relation, but has become a very good friend. He was the first one to tell me it was a fantastic idea and would work. He said it had a lot of mileage but just needed to be marketed correctly. And that’s just what we did. In January 2017, I registered the company Live From Earth Media based on the concept of having a digital travel show, which is called Ipoint5billioninches. Live from Earth Media was conceptualised on the basis of having a standalone independent digital media project for travel brands or for brands that cater to travel either directly or indirectly. I have never looked back since January 2017, and as we move into 2021, the future looks very exciting.
Can you give me some examples of the content that we will find on your platform?
We have completed a project with a diving tour company in the Maldives. We are on the verge of completing a project for the Bhutan tourism industry and travel agencies: it’s called 1,000 treks. We have a standalone travel agency in New Delhi and are building a lot of content in India for various travel pilgrimages. There are a lot of areas in India that are still untouched. India is a very vast country with a lot of places to see. There are a so many areas that are still untapped and that tourists want to learn about. We have a number of projects coming up in Germany, Scotland, Canada and Dubai. It’s going to be interesting, and we have set out to release all these projects this year. We are just waiting for all the travel restrictions to be lifted, so that we can firstly complete our projects and secondly release them, so that our clients can go ahead and market the content on their platforms as well as on our platforms.
Our clients range from airlines, through hospitality groups, standalone hotels, tour operators, both MIC and private travel, luxury travel, through virtually every aspect of travel companies; even the companies that do not directly cater to travel
Who are your clients?
We cater to travel companies of all kinds. Our clients range from airlines, through hospitality groups, standalone hotels, tour operators, both MIC and private travel, luxury travel, through virtually every aspect of travel companies; even the companies that do not directly cater to travel. For example, we have
a another flag ship project which is called 2Wheels&anEngine, that is primarily for motorcycles and other two wheelers. It is very specific and very niche, primarily covering road trip projects for motorcycles. We are trying to build videos on the best of the best highways all over the world, and we have clients on board from Suzuki Japan through Suzuki Germany, we have BMW Germany and KTM Austria. We also have an Indian motorcycle company and we are looking to do a lot of other projects for them in Europe, the UK and Brazil. We also have KTM from Austria.
How will your new platform work?
There are two bases: Live TV and Live Media, and these two websites we will launch on 19th March 2021. They serve as the digital ecosystem of all our creatives, as a kind of Vlog. There will also be case studies on how we did these projects, what the ideas and objectives were behind them, what our clients were struggling with and how we came up with a marketing solution for them, presenting it as a fully finished project. In other words, Live TV and Live Media are going to serve purely as a digital ecosystem, with our complete creative library.
Tell me a little bit about the people that you have built up around yourself and how they create the content.
It was just me for quite some time, for two to three years. But I realised I could not do everything myself, so I started hiring people from technical backgrounds. We have a social media team, we also have web development and UX designers and creators, and we also brought in partners in the US and found content developers in Canada and London. So, today, we stand at a total strength of about 16 people all around the world, including me. It has been quite a rush.
What will people expect to find when they see you at ITB Berlin NOW this year?
We had planned to participate last year, but we all know what happened then. We had already flown out to Germany and had to fly back home. But since then, we have strengthened our plans. I’ve had time to chip off the rough edges, dot the eyes and cross the t’s, so what people will find when they interact with us is that we are a far stronger company than what we were last year or two years ago. We are much more focused, we are much more resilient in the sense that we can now get the job done at a faster rate and in a more effective way than what it used to be a couple of years ago. People are also going to learn about the various deliverables that we have brought on since last year. Campaigns can be much more effective and efficient and optimised and simply get better results. We have data analytics, we have video production which is in-house and we are ready to streamline the way we operate and we deliver the projects to clients.
Can you tell me a little bit more about what 1point5billioninches is all about?
1point5billioninches pertains to the creation of multimedia intellectual property – to communicate the experiences from travelling in a variety of artistic expressions of wanderlust. 1point5billioninches is “on the path to re-discovery”, a unique travelogue web-series-IP, highlighting the emotional connect one has to the uniqueness of the places visited. It is simply an enthralling cinematic engagement of travel, food, drink, music, adventure, folklore and culture.
The idea of the name went back to December 2016. I couldn’t just come up with a concept on paper. I had to give it a name… and the name of the projects which was 1point5billioninches was actually coined before I got the name of the company, Live from Earth Media. It would have been 1point5billioninches limited or Inc. but that did not happen because that would have limited what we were doing to a travel web series, and the company had to have more of an identity. It refers to the circumference of the earth in inches. We, as a travel marketing company, want to tread each and every inch of the earth in terms of our projects in terms of our clients and in terms of the content, in order that we can do deliver all over the world. It’s just a matter of moving inch by inch for us.
When is the official launch?
The official launch date is 19 March. We have planned a big launch for the website and for the content to go out. We are inviting a lot of people from the travel industry. A lot of travel companies, travel bureaus and a lot of tourism boards to be part in the launch. That’s when they will get to know us as a company, us as a travel marketing platform and a serious marketing content developer. The ideology behind all the content that we are going to develop is purely going to be storytelling, because that is an aspect that is missing in the industry today.