Viacom18’s digital video platform, VOOT has reported more than 10 million app downloads with over 15 million monthly active users across mobile and web since its launch in May 2016. According to the report, viewers spend 40 minutes on an average each day on the platform. Its current shows include library content and VOOT originals. The app presently available on iOS and Android platforms.
In addition, the company has announced that it will get exclusive content from the popular Bigg Boss 10 show, which airs on its channel Colors. Here’s what’s planned:
- Only VOOT will have full episodes of Bigg Boss
- It’ll have exclusive content in a section called “Unseen Undekha”, which will not be available on TV, and will have a “a customized playlist on the housemates that will give the users a chance to stream videos of any celebrity or commoner in Big Boss 10.”
- VOOT will also have stories on Nominations, Results, Weekly Task Announcements, Captain Selection, Post Eviction interviews of the contestants, discussions on the Luxury Budget.
In March 2016, Viacom18 partnered with OTT solution provider Kaltura for video streaming, A Different Engine (ADE) for building its UI/UX; Web Dunia for website development and Robosoft to develop a mobile application for VOOT. Later in the same month, VOOT was launched as a free to use platform. It continues to use an advertising business model, although the company had then mentioned that it will evaluate freemium and subscription models in the future.
Using exclusivity to drive user acquisition and usage (Nikhil adds)
Now this is not a new thing: The same show, for years, had similar content on other Network18 properties, for example, on In.com. It’s just that now the approach is to take the same user base and drive usage on an application, where channels and brands are more likely to retain users. The real challenge that VOOT will face is essentially what happens once Bigg Boss is over for the year. In June 2016, VOOT tied up with Turner India for featuring kids’ video programs like The Powerpuff Girls, Ben10, Chhota Bheem, etc.
Other developments in the VOD space
In October 2016, Eros Now claimed to offer over 5,000 films apart form television shows, music video and audio tracks to a registered user base of over 49.6 million across 135 countries.
In September 2016, Netflix announced the launch of its original standup comedy series in India with comedian Vir Das.
In July 2016, video streaming company nexGTV partnered with production company Sai Entertainment to acquire global digital rights for 1000 movies owned by the production house.
In April 2016, nexGTV expanded its services to 140 countries, claiming to have over 1,000 Indian movie and TV show titles, as well as 150 TV channels on its platform.
In the same month, Shemaroo Entertainment tied up with online video streaming platform Spuul to share their catalogs with their respective users. Spuul will offer movies like Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, The Dirty Picture, Sarfarosh, Black, Kaalia, Namak Halal, Shiva, Majboor, Amar Akbar Anthony, Don and Anamik among others from Shemaroo.
Also in the same month, on demand video platform Netflix reported to have added 6.7 million subscribers in Q1 2016 taking the total count to 81.5 million subscribers worldwide.
In March 2016, Spuul tied up with content providers like UTV-Disney, Yashraj Films, Reliance Entertainment, Balaji Telefilms, Indiacast, Shemaroo , B4U, Venus and Rajshri to enhance its regional content library.
In February 2016, Netflix began acquiring content in India with the rights for the movie, Brahman Naman. In the same month, Zee Digital, the digital arm of Zee Entertainment, launched a new video on demand (VoD) platform called OZEE to stream movies, TV shows, videos and music. It was to be initially available only on desktop browser.
In January 2016, Netflix launched in India. It was made available to users for free, for a month, and at Rs 500 per month thereafter for non HD content, limited to one screen.