In March 2016, Viacom announced the launch of Voot an AVOD platform. It betted strongly on Viacom's network content that included movies, live TV and also a few originals. In 2020,just before the onset of a raging pandemic, they also launched Voot Select-the network's subscription video on demand platform. Voot Select has seen phenomenal growth.
Earlier this year the company had announced that it has got one million paid subscribers from Voot Select in its first year of operation.
In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, said, “Even though we were late entrants to the subscription world, the growth has been fantastic. We are trying to grow on the back of all kinds of propositions like originals and premium sports which have been big drivers. We have our network content proposition which is doing well. Our observation is that as long as the content provides value, people will subscribe."
The launch of Bigg Boss’ OTT version which is Viacom’s biggest entertainment property has been a disruptor. He said the success of the show will give a lot of players the confidence to try new things.
“India is still playing very comfortable playbooks on originals which are tried and tested, but I think we are not trying as much disruptive content. Bigg Boss OTT working is a big proof point for the industry to start thinking disruptively. Consumers are ready, frankly even we did not know how consumers would take it. Its success will push the envelopes significantly for others,” he added.
So far, the OTT platform offers a number of original shows and also the content from the network’s television channel. They also have sports and popular international shows as a result of partnerships with the NBA and CBS.
Speaking about their strategy for 2022, Rakshit said, “The strategy will be to create an everyday consumption proposition for the markets where we are strong to communicate a daily habit. We are focusing on regional which has been a big growth driver, however, we will have to take a few bets there. We will go and figure out and identify the markets we are strong in and dominate those. That is going to be the strategy. We will create compelling propositions and be present in those areas."
The response from advertisers has been positive, Rakshit said, even though the revenue did fall a little in the second wave, it wasn’t like the first wave.
He added that in both 2020 and 2021 there were ad drops during the first and second waves because of the lockdown, but since then the comeback has been quite strong and overall growth has been continuous.
The platform put out an exclusive proposition of Bigg Boss OTT which was a marquee as well as exclusive property for advertisers and added value. The market was willing to buy into a digital exclusive that had not been done before.