Info-tech

Viacom18 plans to deepen its presence in regional markets with films, OTT

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on November 21, 2018 Published on November 20, 2018

Viacom18 is looking to deepen its presence in regional markets. Focus will be on shoring up content-driven regional film production and a bigger play in the over-the-top (OTT) segment through Voot.

Viacom18 is a joint venture between TV18 and the US-based Viacom.

According to Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, the company will scale up its regional film production tonew markets such as Kannada, Telugu and Tamil. So far it has produced Marathi, Bengali and Telugu films, apart from Hindi. “We look to produce four-five films in regional languages across these other markets. These could be co-productions,” he told BusinessLine.

Apart from film production, Viacom18 operates several TV channels through brands such as Colors , Mtv, Nickelodeon, Rishtey, Comedy Central, VH1 India and others.

As per market sources, Viacom18’s operating revenues stood at ₹3,700 crore in FY-18.

OTT-play

On the OTT side, the company hopes to expand the scope for Voot, which is is expected to turn profitable over the next three-to-four years, according to Vats.

The OTT player currently has 45 million active users with over 50 minutes of per user time, per day.

“We will look to dial up more regional content with Voot Originals ,” Vats said.

According to a recent research report by The Boston Consulting Group, the Indian OTT market will reach $5 billion by 2023. With regional content being developed, the (rural) market is poised to becomesignificantly large. There is a room for OTT models like a subscription-based one, an advertising-based platform and also for a transaction-based one.

“We may explore a freemium model. And are also looking at making the offering more interactive and facilitate user interactions on the platform,” Vats added.

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Published on November 20, 2018
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