It’s getting crowded in the video streaming space. Viacom 18 Digital Ventures has announced VOOT, a mobile video platform which will go live in the ‘coming months’, where it will not just broadcast Viacom18 content, but also create original content programming. Viacom18 will bring in global content for the platform, and deliver over 2G, 3G, 4G and WiFi networks.
Last month, we’d reported about Viacom’s plans for a video on demand platform called “Play Plex”, expected in current quarter. The plan with Play Plex was to offer a suite of mobile TV apps – a separate one for each TV channel – with content from international partners, and available across 180 of Viacom’s global territories. Viacom18, it appears, has other plans.
While VOD services are on an upward trend in the country, users continue to face inconsistent networks and expensive data packs with poor internet speeds (not to mention the state of internet access). Remember that around 40% of data consumption on mobile networks, for operators like Airtel, is video. It would benefit VOD services and telecom operators greatly if telecom operators rolled out data-only cellular towers, to allow for better connectivity and speeds. There’s also a need to roll out WiFi and enhance wireline coverage, because mobile networks will never be able to meet the demand that video will impose on them.
Other VOD developments in India:
– In August, video streaming service HOOQ signed a multi-year deal with Sun TV and added over 1,000 Shemaroo video titles.
– Spuul increased its library and signed a deal with UTV to add popular movie titles to its service.
– In July, Hungama launched HungamaPlay, with a catalog of 6,500 movies.
– In January, Star India launched a video streaming service in beta called Hotstar, with all of Star India’s television and sports offerings along with Bollywood and regional movies from other studios.