VOOT eyes 100mn MAU this fiscal, announces 30+ originals, advertiser solution VOOT Studios

India’s 2nd largest Indian AVOD platform, VOOT, celebrating its 3rd anniversary, announced it had crossed 100 billion minutes of watch time, and that it was targeting 100mn MAUs. It also announced its content tech solution for advertisers, VOOT Studios, and a fresh content lineup of 30+ VOOT Originals

Whatever the bravado of naysayers, cord cutting is happening, slowly but very steadily, with OTT wielding the knife as mobiles and data get cheaper and faster. Netflix is already reportedly mulling a Rs 250 a month subscription package in SD for India. Broadcasters are looking for actionable insights from data to square up to the threat from OTT with smarter decisions on content selection and placements on television, and much more.

But that is another story.

The growing popularity of OTT is demonstrated by the performance of VOOT from Viacom 18, which, on Friday the 5th of April celebrated its third anniversary with several announcements: that it had accrued 100 billion minutes of watch time, thereby becoming the second largest Indian AVOD platform, and that it was working on a fresh content lineup of more than 30 VOOT Originals to offer quality and differentiated content, and also that the digital video-on-demand streaming service had set its sights on 100 million Monthly Active Users within the fiscal year.

And there was more: VOOT also announced the launch of VOOT Studios – a content tech solution for advertisers.

VOOT tragets 100mn MAU in 2019-20 - Mediabrief
Standing left to right: VOOT vertical heads Akash Banerji, Head AVOD Business; Monika Shergill, Head Content; Mohit Srivastava, Head Technology and Engineering; Abhigyan Shekhar, Head Sales; Gaurav Bhasin, Head Business Planning and Operations, and Viacom 18 Group CEO & MD – Sudhanshu Vats

Among the more than 30 VOOT originals upcoming across genres and languages, are Law and Honour, Naaz, Love All, The Raikar Case, Kaisi Yeh Yaariaan – Season 4, Marzi and Asura, which are a few originals that will be launched in the short term.

Institutionalizing the branded content play, VOOT announced the launch of VOOT Studios – a business performance-oriented content tech solution for advertisers looking to connect with digital audiences with branded shows, sponsorships and  interactive formats in addition to other tailormade solutions.

Way back in mid-2017, Cisco had said that 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic  by 2020, ie next year, will be video. And Facebook had said that by a couple of years thereafter, it expects more than 90% of the content its users consume on the platform would be in the video format. Industry thought leader Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and MD, Viacom18, too put shared a significant perspective at the celebrations.

Segmentation based on the 3 A’s: Sudhanshu Vats

Vats said, “India will have an online consumer base of more than 500 millino by 2022. Of this, more than 3/4th will be consuming video content. While technological advancements allow us to personalize content consumption, growth for the category will come from our ability to segment our offerings to multiple consumer segments accelerated by the three A’s – accessibility, availability and affordability.”

“VOOT,” Vats said, “has crossed the 100 billion watch minutes mark in three years, and we are now targeting 100mn monthly active users within this financial year. Additionally, we are segmenting the VOOT business into four uniquely focussed propositions – the existing AVOD model and the upcoming freemium offering, VOOT Kids and VOOT International.”

Branded-content solutioning the way forward: Akash Banerji

Speaking about the branded content play for VOOT,  Akash Banerji, Head – AVOD Business, VOOT, said, “Brands today realise (that the) regular ad spot, while important, is not sufficient to drive resonance with the consumer. Branded content solutioning is hence the way forward given that it allows for bespoke content curation and subtle communication embedded into the narrative of the show. VOOT Studios will allow brands to bring the world of story-telling, data and tech all together to deliver the brand message and the ROI effectively for the business.”

With the proliferation of digital content and its increasing consumption across mediums, understanding consumer behaviour now plays a critical role. VOOT’s consumer insights product MAVARIC is built to help advertisers identify the right audience thus ensuring high impact via communication. MAVARIC helps advertisers with consumer insights as well as target their messaging beyond simple demographic profiles and instead focuses on enhanced insights around online behaviour, purchase behaviour, affinity and interest and more.

Insights clubbed with interactivity solutions will allow brands to provide immersive brand engagements. Reinforcing the importance of interactivity on OTT platforms, VOOT will strengthen its current offering with the addition of 5 new programmes in the next few months which will fuel further growth and attract users to the platform.

Now available on iOS, Android, Web, and Amazon Fire TV, and built on a robust technology backbone, VOOT further strengthens its technology and distribution system by announcing over 20+ new distribution partners across the travel, broadband and mobile ecosystem as well as with OEMs. The OTT platform has partnered with smart tv manufacturer like CloudWalker,  ShareIt , Act Fibrenet and travel network company OLA, amongst the others.

Currently driven by an Advertising supported video-on-demand model, VOOT will continue to build scale by soon diversifying from 1 business model of AVOD to 4 – VOOT AVOD, VOOT Kids, VOOT International and VOOT Freemium.

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