March 30:Media and entertainment major Viacom18 Tuesday launched its advertising-led video-on-demand platform Voot.
Voot, a 50:50 joint venture between Viacom Group and the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, will have a large repository of original content and roll out shows in both long and short formats across genres like comedy and drama.
The platform will have kids characters from across networks, from Nick characters like Dora, Spongebob, Motu Patlu to external popular characters like Chhota Bheem and Pokémon.
It will also move its content library including Colors, MTV and Nick to be digitally available only on Voot.
“This market is at the cusp of a digital boom with over 400 million Internet users and over 200 million smartphone users spending significant amount of time online with entertainment and allied content being the prime driver,” Viacom18 Group Chief Executive Sudhanshu Vats said.
“As more people move towards consuming content online, it is time for Viacom18 to move into the world of connected screens, hence Voot,” Vats added.
Voot will be among the dozen or so similar services such as Hotstar, Sony Liv, Ozee, ErosNow, Spuul and YuppTV, already operational in the country.
With the digital advertising led video-on-demand category set to develop into around $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,640 crores) business opportunity by 2020, Viacom 18 has lined up an aggressive mix of business content and marketing strategies.
“From a business standpoint, we are following the advertising led video-on-demand model. As the market matures in the next 12-24 months, we will be evaluating both freemium and subscription led models,” Viacom18 Digital Ventures Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Gandhi said.
Voot will have over 17,000 hours of content across languages and genres and comes with pin protection to ensure children don’t watch anything except the kids content. It also has a shake feature.
Once a child shakes the phone, the screen displays the next four videos on the list, which can be accessed simply by tapping on it. It will launch four original web series and then look at having an original content show every month.