Voot’s growth trajectory has seen very positive signs in the last few years and it has been possible due to its tactical approach to the world of OTT, as per Chanpreet Arora, Head - AVOD (Voot), Viacom18 Digital Ventures. She also said that there has been a sharp uptick in Voot’s audience base in the last one month.
A recent report from TVision Insights found that the share of time spent on AVOD has increased from 9.3% in the first quarter of 2021 to 38% in the third quarter of 2021.
“Voot's OTT audiences have increased by 30% in the last month and since Voot Select service is also doing well, it is working out great for us,” she said.
Meanwhile, on the question of the entry of Netflix in Advertising-based Video On Demand (AVOD) segment, Arora said that it will have no impact on the Indian OTT space.
As per recent reports, slowing revenue growth and a declining subscriber base have forced Netflix to explore an ad-supported subscription tier, which it plans to roll out soon.
“It is bound to happen because India is a very interesting market. Our cost of content is almost as high as compared to most developed countries. But our monetisation, CPM or subscription revenue is not even one-tenth as compared to other countries. Hence, the high-quality content whether you look at shows, non-fiction, live or at high production of movies or television series, cannot be funded through subscription or advertising alone. It is a hand-in-hand strategy. There is a cost of access but people will stream content anywhere, from AVOD to SVOD. It is finally going to get closer to a sustainable model,” Arora added.
The appeal of AVOD as an advertising platform lies in its high consumer engagement and rapid growth.
“Voot has innovated and created content which is digital-first. In 2017, it launched ‘Silsila’ which is an extension of an old TV show on the basis of its fandom. The platform has also started doing originals for its AVOD audiences with shows like ‘It’s Not That Simple’ (INTS) that featured Swara Bhaskar,” Arora added.
Talking about big-ticket revenue properties on the platform, Arora mentioned, “In 2021, Big Boss OTT was launched on Voot and that saw a growth of 50% in revenue YoY. It has shown a healthy rate of growth partly due to the three-tier content strategy of acquisition, engaging and marketing TV content used by the platform.”
The aim is to make the platform more interactive for the younger audience, she said.
She said that Voot is offering viewers digital exclusive IPs which has increased the platform’s viewership and time spent, hence presenting brands a promising offering of audience engagement.
Talking about subscriber growth, she said, “Last year (because of Big Boss OTT) we achieved four million new audiences. This year (two months ago) when we launched our AVOD original IP Cybervaar , it has already given us over six hundred thousand new viewers on the app.”
Sharing more insights about Voot’s audience base, Arora said more than 65% of their viewers are under 35 at a root level. Moreover, 98% of Voot’s audience is addressable on the platform, as per her, which gives them an edge over knowing their user behaviour.
According to Arora, there are three things that work in digital; engaging users to choose their content, choosing the time and choosing the platform where they want to engage themselves.
Talking about how the content being created by Indian players is different from international giants, she said, “There needs to be a strict code of content according to Indian values, because India is a culturally-rooted country. We follow the new government regulations for online entertainment.”
According to Arora, Voot has three strategies for creating content that caters to a diverse audience: multi-lingual, multiple formats, and interactive television for online audiences.
She said more advertisers are coming in to create campaigns and build brand affinity.
These advertisers include Swiggy, Coin DCX, Google and Meta.
She said, “We are able to target the right audience and provide them with content that is engaging. We are also able to give advertisers the opportunity to engage with their audience on a pop-cultural level.”