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Digital ads not safe for kids, subscription to be only model for Voot Kids, says Saugato Bhowmik

In a conversation with, Bhowmik explains how Voot Kids is different from Disney Byju’s that rolled out earlier this year

Saugato Bhowmik

Viacom18’s latest offering Voot Kids will purely be a subscription-driven entertainment and learning app for kids. According to Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, Voot Kids, “It is always difficult to monitor the exact ads on digital platforms and sometimes they might be harmful for kids. That is why the ad-free app has been made available on subscription.”

Priced at Rs 799 for a year with a 30-day free trial and Rs 99 per month with a seven-day free trial, the Voot Kids app is available on iOS and Android.

Justifying the pricing, Bhowmik said, “The value we are delivering should be at a far more reasonable price than what parents are already spending. We realise that a lot of parents are spending a lot of money to buy books that are out of the curriculum to develop vocabulary skills, investing in crafts, DIY, toy sets, puzzles, board games and many different things for the child’s development. We want to give them all that along with the fun of tools along with the tools in one place.”

With the sole purpose of increasing meaningful screen time for kids, the app combines fun learning and entertainment for kids between two and eight years. The app aims to deliver a holistic experience by focussing on viewing, reading, listening and playing all in one place.

Earlier this year in June, The Walt Disney Company and education firm Byju’s jointly rolled out a new leaning app targeted at children aged six-eight years. Disney Byju’s Early Learn app features Disney cartoon characters in new course material designed for class one-three students.

Asked how different will be Voot Kids, Bhowmik said, “I don’t see any other platform that is delivering fun and learning all together in one place in a safe, controlled and curated environment with parental control. Maybe there are different platforms which have additional kids’ sections but ours is completely different. There are many books in the market but what is special about the curation of e-books is that picture books, large text audio narration, text highlight, dictionary support, pronunciation tools are all geared to make reading fun. Children don’t like reading because they don’t enjoy reading. We are trying to make reading fun so that the child doesn’t think it as reading but as fun. And that is the effort we are making.”

Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), Voot Kids is India’s first and only multi-format kids’ app offering fun and learning. With its largest and most versatile collection of over 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes, it aims to usher in the next evolution in the kid’s digital ecosystem.

“In fact, we have got formal accreditation from Early Childhood Association, the apex body for developing early children’s curriculum in schools. They waited for our app and gave us formal accreditation. This is the first and only app in India to have that. We are the only one that combined fun and self-learning together in an engaging way in a safe environment. So I think that we are in our own space and creating our own space, so I stay away from comparisons,” he added.

Bhowmik said all platforms available will be used to market Voot Kids.

“We will leverage our Viacom18 network, which is one of the most powerful networks in the country. We will use other mass media platforms, outdoor, print, digital, radio. Influencers will be employed to take the communication to parents,” he added.

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