iWorld

Every platform needs a centrality to its content: VOOT’s Gourav Rakshit at Vidnet 2019

There is a supply-demand issue in the OTT space currently.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2019/10/07/vid.jpg?itok=xuVINAbe

MUMBAI: Viacom18’s digital venture VOOT is set to expand the horizon of its business with new moves such as the upcoming launch of its subscription-based model in this calendar year and the full-fledged commercial launch of VOOT Kids. While it will maintain equal focus on the advertising-led platform, Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO Gourav Rakshit thinks it is an opportune time to enter the SVOD play.

At Indiantelevision.com’s Vidnet 2019, Rakshit spoke on industry issues as well as VOOT’s content strategy going forward in a candid fireside chat with Indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari. Wanvari set the tone of the discussion by asking his lessons from Shaadi.com and his view on the industry as an outsider.

Rakshit said that Shaadi.com was obviously a fascinating journey for him as he gained more insights on the history of India and communities of the country. It also helped him to touch India at a very core level while they signed up about 10-15k people every day which largely represents middle-class India.

“I think from a learning point of view one of the things I can definitely bring is data science and AI models being used in match-making. They are very advanced. People talk about recommendations on OTT space. So, the order of magnitude of the algorithm on Shaadi is much higher than you have to in this space. Another thing is we ran the entire business on subscription model creating sufficient value to reach premium customers.”

However, he also shed light on the new things he had to face as he switched industries. “I did underestimate the long-gestation period of content between concept, and execution or original launch. At Shaadi.com we were one week away from the idea of execution. This industry has to think where the ball will be one year from now. So, it definitely has a layer of complexity,” he added further.

The other challenge is the supply-demand quotient. There has been a sudden burst of appetite but the growth in content creators can’t keep pace. However, he believes this is a short-term problem.

According to him, the OTT industry is still finding its footing. The industry also has to discover the right price points. “As you start to move from the extremely western psychological demographic to what we call India, then Bharat, the nature of the content that we produce and we are going to put on these platforms needs to be fundamentally different. There, I think the broadcast industry, which has sharpened over years of understanding what these consumers want, is going to have an edge both by virtue of the library of content and understanding the sensibilities of the users. In the near term, clearly, the highest disposable income is with people that have a westernised psychography,” he said.

He also added that every platform needs a centrality to its content that people want to consume and pay for. “We do daily digital soaps which are only available online and do exceedingly well. We have a base of extremely loyal people. In fact, we just concluded a season a few months ago. It is called Silsila and that had a massive fandom. So appointment-driven viewing on the internet as opposed to the only premise we are able to which is binge-watch is where we see a compelling case,” he also noted.

Rakshit noted that the one thing that digital offers but television is unable to provide is on-demand viewing. According to him, if consumers are able to choose when they want to watch something then they can choose what and how they want to watch, and then they will be looking for something which is closer to their own liking. Hence, there has to be an understanding of writing what these new-age consumers are looking for.

According to Rakshit, VOOT has an interesting content line up that is ready to hit the market. Moreover, the entry of fibre-to-home services will also help the platform at an ecosystem level. He also mentioned that as the industry progressed, the price discovery of subscription-based services would also be helpful for the platform.

Speaking on VOOT’s kids’ strategy, he said, “It’s a departure from pure-play video streaming and primarily because we recognise that the target group in that is in the age group of 4-8 years and they are not using their own phones. They are using the device of their parents with their explicit permission. As a form of engagement, we got multiple-choice questions, audiobooks sort of narrative as well as large-format books which people can read in electronic media. Our early indications are that parents like that.”

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/14/zee5.jpg?itok=sG2gP2Io
ZEE5 Global's subscription revenue grows with their Festive Pack Offer

MUMBAI: In October, ZEE5 Global had rolled out a special festive offer in select global markets, offering a 50% discount on their Annual packs. The Diwali Special offer has seen a fantastic uptake across markets, with the annual pack subscriptions growing nearly three-fold over a one-month period....

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/14/amazon.jpg?itok=HYcdkRx9
Amazon Prime Video unveils Children's Day special line-up

MUMBAI: Amazon Prime Video promises to entertain viewers across all ages with their special Children’s Day line-up. Be it 5 or 50, there is no perfect age to watch a good old animated movie or show. This Children’s Day, Amazon Prime Video has curated a list of titles encompassing both Indian and...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/13/tarun.jpg?itok=j8i2p_fz
ZEE5 india’s Tarun Katial to speak at 24th paley international council summit

MUMBAI: ZEE5 India CEO Tarun Katial will become the first Indian CEO from the OTT industry to speak at the 24th Paley International Council Summit. The Paley Center for Media’s 24th Paley International Council Summit: Agility in Media: Navigating the Global Market will be held in New York City on...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/13/voot.jpg?itok=YcbzFGgG
We want VOOT Kids to be the go-to destination for parents: Viacom18's Saugato Bhowmik

Viacom18, after establishing its main OTT service Voot, is now entering the digital space for kids with VOOT Kids. The subscription-based app targets the age group of two to eight year olds. VOOT Kids, which is priced at Rs 99 per month and Rs 799 per year, houses content in seven different...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/12/disney_0.jpg?itok=cfs2yTZl
Indians await eagerly as Disney+ launches in foreign markets

Mumbai: Walt Disney’s OTT service Disney+ launched in the US, Canada and Netherlands today, even as there is no clarity on when its unmatchable content library, offering 500 films and 7,500 episodes of television, will be made available to Indian viewers through its Hotstar platform.

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/12/disney.jpg?itok=fnR3jfdm
Walt Disney OTT platform Disney+ goes on-air in US, Canada, and the Netherlands

Mumbai: Disney+ has launched today in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands, with The Walt Disney Company (TWDC) CEO Robert Iger declaring it a “historic moment” for the company. The service arrives with nearly 500 films and 7,500 episodes of television from brands such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/12/avaneger.jpg?itok=jYzw_8iA
Avengers: Endgame to stream on Hotstar Premium, Hotstar VIP from Nov 13

MUMBAI: Avengers assemble! as the biggest Hollywood movie ever – Avengers: Endgame – comes to Hotstar VIP and Hotstar Premium – home of the most powerful superheroes! The movie comes to India with its global digital release, barely six months after its theatrical release giving millions a chance to...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/12/eros.jpg?itok=Ad5Wrjjw
Eros International Plc to release Andhadhun in Japan on november 15

MUMBAI: – Eros International Plc, a Global Indian Entertainment Company, has announced the planned theatrical release of Andhadhun in cinemas in Japan on November 15th. Andhadhun is an Indian black comedy crime thriller film directed by Sriram Raghavan. The engaging thriller starring Tabu,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/11/12/drive.jpg?itok=fp6T2Ukv
Big Boy Toyz partner with Dharmatic Entertainment for Netflix

MUMBAI: Dharmatic Entertainment and Big Boy Toyz, Delhi’s most trusted pre-owned luxury cars hub, partnered for former’s action film on Netflix. The film, Drive, showcased some of the best keeps of Bog Boy Toyz that were used in many high-speed chases and over-the-top stunts.

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories