With its eyes upon the rapidly growing streaming sector, Viacom 18 has launched a brand new video streaming service, Voot. The debut makes it part of an exclusive club of major networks running their own streaming services in the country.
The service has been in the works since October and was announced as part of Viacom Digital Ventures. And while it took the company almost 6 months to get it up an running, the sheer amount of available content looks to have been worth the wait.
As per Viacom, Voot will feature almost 17,000 hours worth of content from the various channels in its network including Colors, Colors Infinity, Rishtey, MTV, MTV Indies, Vh1,Comedy Central, kids channels Nick, Nick Jr, Nick Teen & Sonic.
The service will also pack content from its film production & distribution banner, Viacom18 Motion Pictures. What’s more, the channel will have a separate section for watching the unseen footage surrounding the making of its shows.
The company like it’s contemporaries, is also betting big upon web series and will be attempting to launch one, every month. Initially, Voot will kick off with upto six original series that will star Bollywood actors like Gulshan Grover, Baba Sehgal and Alok Nath etc.
Speaking in the topic, Viacom18 group CEO Sudhanshu Vats said,
Voot will be Viacom18’s singular gateway to quality and differentiated content in the digital medium. Our television channels also provide a very robust content bank that we will build upon, for the digital consumers.
He also elaborated upon Voot’s money making mechanism, stating that while the service will be available on an ad-supported model for now, the company will be exploring other options as well.
From the business standpoint, we are following the advertising led VOD model. As the market matures in the next 12-24 months, we will be evaluating both freemium and subscription led models.
Well, video streaming certainly seems to have become the rage among media and entertainment networks, with every capable company in the sector launching its own. Some of the major players in the segment include ErosNow, Balaji Telefilms and Sony TV’s hotstar.
Interestingly, all of these services are betting big upon the creation and distribution of original content. While Eros now has set aside almost $25 million for the development of only for the web shows featuring the like of Bipasha Basu, Anil Kapoor and Chitranganda Singh among others, Balaji telefilms is also planning to co-create original drama series for its upcoming video streaming service ALT Balaji.
Well, things are bound to get interesting with the Viacom network joining the fray. Although the first challenge for all these players would be to introduce the public to the advantages of streaming services over regular TV — Which is also one of the reasons behind the special focus upon the creation of original web content.