Vuclip focusing on local and regional content for Viu

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In an exclusive interview with NexTV News India, Vishal Maheswari, Country Head of Vuclip India revealed that Vuclip is focusing on its content strategy for its OTT service, Viu. According to Maheswari, local and regional content is vital for the sustainability and continuity of an OTT provider in India. He further announced that Viu is planning to launch its service via Chromecast and Smart TV.

    • Q. Can you please give us a broad overview of Vuclip?
    • A. Vuclip is a premium video-on-demand service for emerging markets with 9 million subscribers per quarter across nine countries. With strategic partnerships with over 270 studios around the world, Vuclip brings to subscribers Bollywood blockbusters, regional movies, English TV shows and music videos in India. It is in line with Vuclip’s localized content strategy in India to offer mutli-genre video content in more than 10 different languages. Vuclip’s Dynamic Adaptive Transcoding technology provides unbuffered viewing experience to consumers across all mobile devices and on any network. Vuclip and its subsidiaries are headquartered in Milpitas, California and have a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Dubai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Bangkok.

    • Q. Vuclip has just launched its OTT service Viu in India, what differentiate the offer of Viu from the others OTT services available in India?
    • A. Viu is a freemium OTT service launched in India with more than 42000 hours of fresh, first-on-Viu, the best of Bollywood and Hollywood content to entertain the diverse Indian audience. Viu has been launched as a freemium service, with Indian consumers having access to thousands of hours of content for free (around 70% of the overall content). Consumers can also subscribe to a premium portion of the service which includes an ad-free experience, as well as access to additional premium content for INR 99(US$ 1.49) per month on Android devices. Moreover, all our content is downloadable and Viu is accessible via mobile phones and tablets as well as desktops by downloading the Viu app.Viu has been launched with strategic partners like FreeCharge and eBay India. FreeCharge is a preferred payment wallet partner for Viu and will offer a free one-month trial subscription as well as offer cash back deals for premium subscribers. And, eBay India Pvt. Ltd. is signed on as a strategic distribution partner and will offer various packages and bundles related to Viu.

    • Q. Coming to the exclusive content, what are the content strategies of Vuclip for Viu?
    • A. Viu has forged content partnerships with top production houses and content owners such as Reliance, Sony Music, Zee Digital Convergence, Tips Industries Ltd, Balaji Motion Pictures, Rajshri Entertainment, Unisys Infosolutions, Shemaroo, Anand Audio, and BBC Worldwide to keep our viewers entertained. India is a big country with various regional languages. Our content strategy is to provide local content with regional languages along with English language content so as to rope in maximum subscribers. We also have local shows and programming that will be available exclusively on our OTT platforms. Viu will have the latest Bollywood films like ‘Kya kool hai hum 3’ just after the theatrical run before they are broadcast on satellite television.

    • Q. The OTT market is fast growing in India, how is Vuclip dealing with its competitors and the new entrant Netflix?
    • A. The OTT industry in India is very competitive and is attracting a host of VOD services – be it local or international. Compared to other OTT providers including Netflix, Viu is a premium OTT service with more local and regional content. Moreover, pricing is an important factor in India. Netflix is only a paid model with one-month free subscription whereas for our service, up to 60% of content is free. With the broadband infrastructure in India, Netflix cannot provide an unbuffered user experience for its subscribers. I think that it will be difficult for Netflix to attract subscribers with its given model in India.

    • Q. How does Vuclip overcome the challenges faced by the VOD players in India? (e.g. connectivity and piracy)?
    • A. The advantage for Vuclip is that we have our own patented technology which enables us to provide a seamless streaming service even with a low broadband connectivity. With regards to tackling piracy, we have managed to keep content highly secure by using world class digital rights management technologies integrated with industry leading service providers Verimatrix and Vualto. . That is why content producers trust our platform and we have been able to secure content deals with big production houses.

    • Q. What are the priority devices for India: TV, PC, Smartphones or tablets?
    • A. We are already available on mobile via our android and iOs applications and also on tablets. We are planning to launch our service via Chromecast and also on Smart TV to have a bigger reach.

    • Q. The OTT market is booming in the SAARC regions, Is Vuclip planning to enter any other SAARC market besides India?
    • A. We have just launched our OTT service Viu in India and presently, we are focusing on entering more South East Asian countries as well as the Gulf region.

  • Q. PCCW has invested in Vuclip, can you explain to our readers, the agreement between PCCW and Vuclip?
  • A. PCCW represents a strategic partner for Vuclip and gives us the opportunity to enhance our product so as to have more visibility in the international market. With our combined expertise and efforts, Vuclip is bound to continue its development in the OTT sector.
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