Online video streaming has been gaining strength in India. Especially after the entry of Netflix this year, the competition has further got intense. Viacom 18, which announced its video streaming service Voot last year, is now set to launch the service officially by the end of this month.
Voot will be an over the top (OTT) video streaming service which would offer over 17000 hours of content in different languages. The content on Voot will be classified according to various genres such as reality shows, comedy, drama, kids to name a few.
The content library will include a library of 150 films in the beginning although the company wants to focus more on TV Shows from its TV channels(Colors, Rishtey, Colors Infinity, etc), as well as original programs made exclusively for the service.
VOOT will not be treated as a catch up for TV, like some other players. Some amount of catch up will be there but we are positioning it as an Internet destination, which is why we have used a completely new brand,
said Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO at Viacom18.
In the beginning, the content on VOOT will be free and the company will rely on the advertisements for its revenues. This is because of the belief of the company on the growth of digital advertising in future.
According to the Chief Operating Officer Gaurav Gandhi digital video advertising is growing at 50% and will be a 6,000 crore business by 2020 making it a huge opportunity. He also said that VOOT was the largest investment of Viacom 18 since its entertainment channel Colors.
The growth of internet users and smartphone numbers in India has led Viacom to enter this video on demand business through VOOT.
We are looking at a two-year horizon when the number of homes having a smartphone will exceed the number of homes having a television screen. It is the game of the future. This is how people will be consuming content,
He further added that in the next three-five years, people will be watching on-demand content as most consumers will have two-way connectivity.
However, VOOT will have to face serious competition from already existing players in the video streaming industry in India. Some of these players include Star TV’s Hotstar, Sony LIV, Singapore-based HOOQ, Spuul, Eros Now, and of course Netflix.