Viacom18's Gourav Rakshit on Colors Telugu digital-first launch, advertiser strategy, digital measurement

The channel will launch on VOOT first on 23 September.


MUMBAI: Viacom18 is taking two bulls by the horn. Not only has it targeted the regional market but is doing so in a digital-first manner. Colors Telugu is soon to be launched on VOOT, Viaom18’s over the top platform.

The new language play of VOOT is set to go live on 23 September targeting a market which has the highest affinity for native language. While VOOT has always been focusing on the philosophy that regional is the new national, Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO Gourav Rakshit said the big shift is happening as advertisers also want to speak locally now.

“As we don’t have a network channel, the marketing has to be a lot nearer to the consumers. So, the marketing has to be more local because the consumer has to feel this is a part of us. A slight change will be in the mix up we would normally do. We will also use conventional television, distribution, Voot to popularlise the content. But I think it’s important to be in and around the ecosystem there itself in Hyderabad. The other thing is we are launching a marquee show Feet Up with the Stars which is a very big property,” Rakshit commented on the marketing strategy.

He also noted that the network is aware of what works in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana market as the Telugu speaking audience watched Hindi content also which made the platform realise the need for Telugu content. Hence, the marketing strategy is more tilted to demonstrate presence, relevance and in the market rather than a pure acquisition.

In comparison to previous times when players wouldn’t risk original content, the scenario today is different. Today, even advertisers speak in regional languages since running Hindi ads are a misfit.

“The brand voice changes when they talk in regional languages. When you are trying to build credibility or enter the market, sometimes it’s more effective to do with regional creative than national. You can’t do that on a Hindi-based content,” Rakshit commented.

While VOOT is planning a subscription-based service, it is expected the platform will predominantly focus on advertising in India. As there are other advertising-based video-on-demand platforms that are also chasing for the advertising pie, Rakshit thinks the connection to relevant audience and content will help them differ.

“We have a significant skew towards youth and female audiences. There are enough advertisers, especially in consumer’s products etc., who will really like our audience. It is our content that attracts viewers and hence, advertisers,” he added.

Speaking on the digital measurement system, Rakshit agreed that it was important and that many people are trying to solve the problem. The benefit here is that every time spent counts, which isn’t the case in the TV industry.

“The TV industry is completely reliant on third party data. That’s why they had to give birth to that. Hotstar knows its own number. YouTube as well and I know Voot’s. So, we are not reliant on the third party. As a result, we are not forced to collaborate. Whether it will come or not, there will be a measurement system. The question is how credible they will be if the media industry will support those findings that are up to chance. It is not clear to me when it will be resolved,” he added.

The new leader on the board of Viacom18’s digital arm joined the platform in May who was earlier serving as the president and CEO of People Group that owns and operates Shaadi.com. Although he is in the internet ecosystem for a very long time, from the content side the two worlds are very different. According to him, the long gestation period of content is really different in his new venture.


Latest Reads


Cricket fans get a chance to relive all the action, excitement, and emotion from the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 as Beyond the Boundary, a retrospective documentary, debuts worldwide on Netflix. The documentary celebrates the 17-day tournament, which saw the emergence of new heroes in the women’...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Pocket Aces’ Loco sees over 6x rise in daily active users

KOLKATA: With the lockdown accelerating the growth of India’s gaming market, the country’s leading game streaming and esports app, Loco, has witnessed a 6x growth in DAUs in the past month. The viewership increase has been driven by a growth in the number of active streamers on the platform,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
MX Player witnesses a big jump in consumption on its gaming platform

KOLKATA: Democratizing entertainment with offerings ranging from video streaming, original web series, live TV, audio streaming and gaming – MX Player has stayed true to its vision of providing Indian audiences with “Everytainment”.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Wanted to create prototype for digital media with 'Bandish Bandits': Anand Tiwari

Anand Tiwari, the man behind Love Per Square Foot is back with yet another directorial venture Bandish Bandits. Tiwari is a stage actor and director known for his roles in films like Kites, Udaan, Aisha, and Go Goa Gone.

iWorld Over The Top Services
English GEC becomes top gainer in Chrome DM week 31

English GEC genre has become the top gainer in week 31, 2020 of Chrome Data Analytics and Media data. The genre grew by 3.66 per cent. In this genre, Colors Infinity gained highest OTS with 39.9 per cent in the six metros market.

iWorld Over The Top Services
Hoichoi collaborates with JioFiber

KOLKATA: The Bengali OTT platform hoichoi is now available for JioFiber customers. JioFiber customers on Silver and above plans will have access to over 2000+ hours of Bengali movies, Original Series and a wide array of content through the hoichoi Platform on their Jio Set- Top Box. Additionally,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Here’s how you can control who replies to your Tweets with Twitter’s new conversation settings

NEW DELHI: Twitter is where people go to see and talk about what’s happening. But sometimes, unwanted replies make it hard to have meaningful conversations. The service has been working to give people more control over their conversations. To this end, Twitter has globally rolled out a new update...

iWorld Social Media
Martin Scorsese joins Apple TV’s Hollywood roster with multi-year deal

MUMBAI: Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese will produce film and TV projects for Apple Inc’s streaming service under a multi-year deal, the company said recently. This move comes after digital video platforms battle for Hollywood’s top talent. Scorsese, the maker of Netflix’s The Irishman and...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Rahul Sarangi joins MX Player’s new business as VP and head

KOLKATA: Streaming service MX Player is not only branching out into short-format video through MX TakaTak but also expanding its team. The Times Internet-owned platform has appointed Rahul Sarangi as MX Player new business vice president and head. Sarangi was earlier with TVF, one of the pioneers...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required