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Viacom18 to launch VOOT VOD service in April; firms up content pipeline

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MUMBAI: The latest addition to the growing digital family in India, Viacom18's new digital video-on-demand (VOD) platform - VOOT is all set to launch its service in the first week of April armed with a slew of shows from various content houses.

According to information available with Indiantelevision.com, among the few production companies that Viacom18 has roped in to produce original content for VOOT are Endemol Shine India, Saurabh Tiwari Films, Colosceum Media, Frames Production Company, Sunshine Production, Shakutantalam Telefilms and Bodhi Tree.

Unlike Netflix's subscription based revenue model, VOOT will follow the advertising based VOD model, wherein content will be offered free for subscribers.

When asked to comment on VOOT's decision to go for the ad based VOD model, a senior media planner on condition of anonymity says, “It’s very early to predict anything. Getting an advertising pipeline takes time. Initially they will be making money out of advertising and it will be limited to certain brands, which they already have in their portfolio and slowly they will be able to expand in the market."

Speaking on their show for VOOT, Frames Production co-founder Ranjeet Thakur says, "Yes, Frames is producing show for VOOT called Soadies. It's a shows based on how Roadies has influenced families and their behaviour."

Soadeis will be an eight-episodic story of 20-25 minutes duration.

According to information available, the per episode production cost of Soadies is said to be between Rs 5-6 lakh. 

Sudhir Sharma’s Sunshine Production is also in the process of producing two shows for VOOT. Though production is in its early stages, the production house has begun casting for one of the shows, which will comprise four episodes.

Additionally, Colosceum Media will be producing a dating reality show for the VOOT platform.

VOOT’s launch comes at a time when Netflix has already made a big bang entry into India, following the likes of Star India’s Hotstar, Sony Pictures Networks India’s Sony Liv, Zee Enterprises’ dittoTV, Eros International’s ErosNow and HOOQ amongst others. With a handful of more players like Balaji Telefilm’s Alt Digital and Vuclip poised to enter the space, the OTT content production space is likely to get a shot in the arm.

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