We entered 2020 as one of South Asia’s leading digital media platforms, having recently completed over 6 years of doing what we do best: sharing credible and compelling stories. Across all our platforms, we were ready to push these boundaries even further, with numerous exciting plans in store for the coming year. But 2020, of course, had other plans.
As the world grappled with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, so did we. In March of 2020, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh went into lockdown and within days, our teams had to adapt to remote working conditions, ensuring that operations continued to run smoothly. But things weren’t easy.
Venturing out to find stories became a thing of the past. Brands were hesitant about their next steps; with the rapid proliferation of information, digital content had taken on a new direction. The old rules simply didn’t apply anymore.
But, as we adapted to these unforeseen circumstances, we noticed rapid change taking place. All around us, people were spending more and more time online. We realised that the need for reliable content was stronger than ever before, so we continued to do what we do best: tell stories.
Creating content that has plausible social impact became our topmost priority. Isolated but dedicated, our teams worked hardest during this period. Unlike traditional media, we went beyond informing; we focused on utilising our multilingual platforms to educate. We exercised every last resource to capture and showcase stories of the pandemic that would normally get lost in the deluge of other stories.
Our content had the impact we set out to achieve; we reached millions. In 2020, Roar LK engaged with 1.5 million social media users online. Our articles were read 1.7 million times, and our videos garnered more than 5 million views. From unseen stories of the pandemic to the garbage-eating elephants in Eastern Sri Lanka and comprehensive election coverage, we continued shining a spotlight on what our audiences wanted to know.
Throughout the year, our platforms continued to educate and inspire. In 2020, Roar Sinhala engaged with 4.2 million readers, 6 million social media users, and garnered more than 8 million video views.
Our curated content on Roar Tamil drew in 400k readers, creating 300k impressions on social media, with over 1.7 million viewers.
Meanwhile, our team at Roar Bangla grew exponentially in both numbers and impact, engaging with 54 million social media users, 28 million readers, and 32 million viewers.
At Roar Studios, our advertorial teams tackled every challenge head on. We found creative ways to develop high-quality digital content for brands through the confines of the lockdown. Ultimately, once restrictions were lifted, we picked up where we left off, stronger than ever before.
With a newfound resilience, Roar Studios successfully saw the completion of 168 campaigns and 280 video productions for 78 clients, both in Sri Lanka and overseas.
All this in mind, one of our greatest highlights for 2020 came with the launch of our newest arm - Roar Digital. The Facebook Authorized Sales Partner in Sri Lanka, Roar Digital provides client advertisers and agencies with a range of services, such as training sessions, expertise on the Facebook suite of services, platform-related support, local billing options, and offers useful insights into local trends.
Our team at Roar Digital commenced operations at the height of the lockdown. In other words, they were thrown straight into the deep end. However, embracing the thriving online space in Sri Lanka, they continued with their task undaunted.
Within less than a year of operations, Roar Digital successfully onboarded 900+ brands, conducted webinars which saw a collective attendance of more than 1800 participants, and provided 1550 hours of support to clients.
2020 tested our strength as a company. It tested our ability to adapt, overcome, and succeed through extenuating circumstances. Nonetheless, we’ve left 2020 stronger than we were entering it, equipped with a new sense of resilience, ready to achieve even greater heights in the coming year.
In 2021, our vision remains intact; building the future of new media with every step we take, creating a positive impact through every story we publish, and hopefully, making the world a better place in the process.