The launch and subsequent success of Netflix seems to have triggered a spurt in over the top (OTT) content players. Now, Viacom18 has launched VOOT, an ad-funded video on demand platform for web and mobile. Earlier, Balaji had announced its intentions to launch a similar product.
VOOT, which went live earlier this week, will have four content pillars — comedy, reality, drama and kids, Gaurav Gandhi, COO of Viacom18 Digital Ventures told IndianExpress.com. “We will get about 70,000 hours of content from Viacom18 with about 10,000 more being added every year. We are looking at aggregating kids content from other sources too,” he explained.
VOOT will also create original content and even showcased some of it during the launch in Mumbai. “We are the only OTT player to start with original content from Day 1. In fact, this content has been made only for the digital platform,” he added. In fact, more original content will be created around existing TV programmes.
While the focus is clearly on India with the first set of languages being Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati and Bangla, there will be English content in VOOT Kids. Oriya will be one of the languages being added in the near future.
Gandhi said they are aiming for a very broad demographic with what they have to offer. “You have to understand that digital video today is not a small number of viewers. We already have 90 per cent viewers watching digital video and there will be an overlap. So it is not a different audience,” he added, explaining how people were now consuming video in different places and formats.
VOOT has opted for the ad-supported model, which Viacom18 is convinced will grow faster that the paid model. Gandhi said they toll will explore a paid model when data prices stabilise and rationalise along with people getting access to more payment gateways. “Till then it will be a mix of transactional pricing, sachet pricing etc,” he said.