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Voot to roll-out 4 new originals in a month under SVoD

The platform, earlier in Jan 2020, had announced a premium service - Voot Select

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MUMBAI: To lure more users, Viacom18’s over-the-top (OTT) platform — Voot — will roll-out four new Originals under the subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) category on the platform. The launch of these four new Original series will happen anytime within 30 to 45 days, says Viacom18 Digital Ventures, chief operating officer, Gourav Rakshit speaking exclusively to Indiantelevision.com.

The media and entertainment company earlier this year has already formally announced a subscription-based video streaming service — Voot Select, a premium pay service. The arm of the company’s OTT platform will be helmed by Ferzad Palia, head – youth, music & English, Viacom18.

“The shooting of Originals being already completed, it was outsourced to production houses”, says Rakshit. “As the platform will roll-out the very first Originals, it had to be Hindi genre, however, it will have a translation to other regional languages.”

According to Rakshit, “Regional is going to be a growth factor for the next five years. Even though Hindi content will grow, the regional content’s growth would be more excessive.”

Besides Voot Select, the company had also launched Voot Kids last year, its first paid service to tap into the growing demand for kids’ content. Meanwhile, Hotstar has also introduced a new “Kids” button to its website that filters age-appropriate content with parental control last year.

The SVoD category will provide exclusive content across a diverse multi-genre marquee, of which four of them will be unveiled in a month’s time. “Originals are the big players in the customer acquisition for subscription business,” says Rakshit.

The data and content have been the major engine drivers for OTTs. Disregarding both of them, Rakshit says, “Our focus is on users more than the data or content. Users exposed to content will definitely provide the data and the reason for our existence is only because of them.”

“We are putting out a slate, which is our best guess with respect to upcoming Originals, beyond that we’ll start getting data,” says Rakshit. “We have already been live while in terms of just putting out our select service sans putting out Originals. This is done to get likes and dislikes of the consumer.”

He adds, “On the AVoD side, there is a lot of content we make ourselves under Voot Night Live, which is like an extra innings of the hit show Bigg Boss.” This attempt itself has given a lot many tractions on the digital platform but it wanted to go beyond TV content on the OTT platform and hence the decision to come up with new Originals soon, explains Rakshit.

Voot is the third broadcaster-led OTT platform, after ZEE5 and Hotstar, to enter into the SVoD category. It has over 100 million downloads on the Google Play store.

Stating that it’s just a start for the OTT players, Rakshit says, “Don’t believe 2020 is going to be the transformation year. However, it’s going to be a whole decade. In this context, we are neither late nor early to come up with new Originals and in this decade lot many things are going to change.”

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