Companies

Viacom18 ramps up digital content

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 17, 2016

Gaurav Gandhi, CEO, Viacom 18   -  PAUL NORONHA

Ad-supported platform to focus on shows for children



Viacom18 will move its entire content library, including Colors, MTV and Nick, to be digitally available only on its mobile digital platform — Voot.

“We have noticed that Voot has been sampled by three million users within 45 days of our soft launch. Our aim is to get about three million users into the platform every day. Our focus will revolve around four major genres — comedy, drama, kids content and reality,” Gaurav Gandhi, CEO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures told BusinessLine.

Viacom18 is a joint venture between Network 18 and America’s Viacom Inc.

Gandhi said the company currently has close to 17,000 hours of content. These include from its broadcast library and independent producers.

Voot competes with players like Star India’s Hotstar, Sony Pictures Network India (SPN; OTT platform SonyLIV) and Zee-owned Ozee and Ditto.

Gandhi said the company is also pursuing kids with over 7,000 new videos.

The ad-supported platform said it will look at kids as a genre in a big way. Apart from having in-house kids franchises like Dora, Motu Patlu and Spongebob, it has also acquired third-party content such as Turner’s Chhota Bheem and Pokemon.

“Our internal research indicated that children consume content through Youtube. This makes them an important target group for Voot Kids World. We have also introduced a password protected by PIN to create the sub-app child friendly and safe,” he said.

Asked if the company will continue with its ad-supported model, Gandhi said the Indian market is still not ready for a subscription model due to prohibitive data cost and limited payment gateways. “Digital VoD platform is second only to GEC (general entertainment). We will continue with the ad-led platform,” he added.

Speaking on the original content to be aired under Voot Originals, Gandhi said it will be shortly airing its original shows including talk show Sinskari by Alok Nath, a web series Chinese Bhaasad and a four-part short film Badman played by Bollywood’s baddie Gulshan Grover.

Asked if the company is looking to cater to sports as a genre in it OTT platform, Gandhi said it is not looking at it. “Sports as a genre is live and we are not considering it at the moment”.

Published on May 17, 2016
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