Two brothers first conceived IDN Media in 2014 in a 64 sq ft bedroom in Singapore, rented by Winston Utomo, a Google employee at that time. Brother William was back in Indonesia then.
They envisioned building a media company that produces content which resonated directly with the younger generation.
After almost a year of saving up enough money to hire journalists, the brothers then launched the news and entertainment portal IDN Times, that covers “30 percent hard news and 70 percent soft news” - this operated solely from a room in a shop-lot in Surabaya.
Three and half years later, IDN Media boasts a 140-strong workforce that operates two digital media portals, a video production house, a creative agency, an event agency and a creator marketing agency.
With a clear focus on millennials and Gen-Z, IDN Media’s strategy is to target niche audiences by having a content strategy specific to verticals of interest.
“The typical age of Indonesian becoming a mom is 25 years-old. That’s why we launch a dedicated 'millennial mom portal to capture the audience” - Utomo
To IDN Media, millennials are not an overarching cohort. IDN breaks down the age group further into 18-24 year-olds and the 25-34 year-olds, given the interests of these age groups are vastly different.
For example, female-focused PopBela.com, that was spun out of IDN Times, targets young mothers in Indonesia.
“The typical age of Indonesian becoming a mom is 25 years-old. That’s why we launch a dedicated 'millennial mom portal to capture the audience,” William explains.
“Yummy, meanwhile, is a food tutorial media channel that started out as a video programme on IDN TV. It got so popular that the management decided to spin it off and build a media brand by itself.”
Speaking exclusively at Comma 2017, William emphasizes the importance of knowing your audience, right down to the mobile phones that they use.
'Very general content does not resonate with anyone' - Utomo
Going niche not only helps break through the ‘noise in the marketplace
This is where its creator marketing agency IDN Creative comes in to provide one-stop solutions for brands looking to tap into the millennial and Gen Z markets.
“We think strategically with them on how to best use and leverage our audiences, and tap them in a soft-selling way, so that the message gets across,” adds William.
In this next video, he talks about picking the right social media influencers to endorse brands. He explains why it matters to a campaign strategy if the brand influencer gained fame via social media or the traditional platforms such as radio or television.
‘Traditional celebrity would usually have greater reach but lower engagement ratio, relative to the followers’ – Utomo