Viacom18 shifts focus toward content nearing launching of VOOT

Viacom18 will concentrate their efforts into original and exclusive content creation with the launching date of their Over-The-Top (OTT) platform, VOOT, fast approaching. The digital platform is scheduled for launch in early 2016.

“It has become imperative for the entire organisation to see itself not just as a TV broadcaster but essentially as a great content creator. And that is a big shift we are planning to make. Our contents need to be made available device agnostic, time agnostic and be absolutely in sync with what the consumer is demanding. Hence, Viacom 18 Digital Ventures was formed three months back and which is the digital arm of the entire network. Another part of Viacom 18 Digital Ventures being intended to launch is the new upcoming OTT video service early 2016. We have already announced ‘Voot’, the new digital platform,” said Akash Banerji in an exclusive interview to NexTV India, head of marketing & partnerships at Viacom18 Digital Ventures.

Banerji revealed his excitement about the potential, the opportunity and the possibilities which are on offer with the launching of VOOT. “It has some of the best content as a part of Viacom 18 Network right from comedy to Big Boss and to the kids’ contents through Nickolodeon. And of course the leading shows on MTV. Over and above the content we are going to aggregate from TV, we are putting huge effort behind exclusive and original content,” added Banerji.

The digital platform will be completely free. “It is an AVOD (Advertising Video On Demand) which will be completely free for subscribers. And the going position is that it will capture the imagination of this country and to be considered and perceived as a leading entertainment platform for the country,” he explained.

Asked about the targets being set for VOOT, Bannerji replied: “It will not be right for me to disclose any numbers or set targets at this juncture as we are still at a nascent stage. Once we launched the product, in the soft phase, we will be beta testing and understand how the product is performing. We will also know what are the hiccups that need to be solved. Potentially when we go with the marketing launch, that is the time when we will be in a better position to talk about what kind of numbers we are chasing. It going to be a very good platform.”

Viacom 18 is one of the fastest growing and leading TV networks in India today and it is a joint-venture between Viacom Inc and Network 18.

VOOT, as its youthful and exuberant name suggests, intends to lead its entry into the market with entertainment, flair and imagination. Viacom18 Digital Ventures has been working for the last few months with its set of strategic partners on the brand design and logo with the aim of keeping it distinctive, differentiated and in-sync with the brand mission to create a fun filled world of entertainment.

Specifying the need for an exclusive new platform, Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO, said “As one of the fastest growing media companies in the country, for us at Viacom18, digital content creation, delivery and access are essential focus areas for driving growth. With VOOT, we set out to leverage an already digitally engaged audience with our content offerings. VOOT will not only be the singular and exclusive destination for Viacom18’s content portfolio, but will have an equally strong focus on original programming created especially for the platform. The brand mission of VOOT is to create a whole new world of entertainment, filled with happy discoveries and addictive content”