India’s video-on-demand platform, Voot, is taking its services globally, beginning with the United Kingdom this November. The Viacom18-owned digital service will also produce 18 multi-lingual web series across genres in the coming months.
Voot, one of India’s most viewed advertising led video-on-demand platform, intends to target the 1.825 million-strong Indian-origin community in the United Kingdom, by serving them varied content offering in multiple Indian languages, PTI reported. The service will use a subscription-based model outside India, like Hotstar’s expansion in the United States and Canada, according to NDTV.
Voot will also feature news on its platform with the inclusion of TV18 news. Sixteen live channels across 13 languages will bring the latest in current affairs to viewers.
Voot also plans to strengthen the user interactivity experience with adoption of technology such as Google Watch Action, and Dolby Surround Sound for all VOOT originals.
Speaking about the OTT landscape and opportunity in India, Sudhanshu Vats, Managing Director, Viacom18, said that the space has evolved drastically in last two years. “In this space, penetration is increasing and data consumption is going up as data is becoming more and more affordable and so are smartphones,” he said in a statement. “The audience who is currently watching video online in India is already close to 300-350 million but the most heartening news is that this number is going to be about 750 million by 2020. That’s the size of China today in terms of digital consumption. As we are already second largest country, we can be number one as we go forward.”
The 18 Voot Originals will offer content across multiple genres created by various well-known names, including Bollywood writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar, who is writing his first web series. The network has also launched three regional shows — three in Tamil and one in Kannada.
The service is aiming to roll out the new content within the next 6-9 months. It is looking at a total of 150-200 hours of content, NDTV reported.
“We have been extremely lucky to be partnering with a galaxy of very talented and committed actors, writers and directors to bring forth our second bundle of VOOT Originals, starting with 18 multi-genre and multi-lingual series,” Monika Shergill, Content Head, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, said.