Voot : Transforming from free to free-mium

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Voot is a video-on-demand platform designed to watch TV shows and movies online. The company's platform offers daily soaps, television shows, movies, reality shows based on four content pillars - comedy, reality, drama and kids, enabling viewers to watch unlimited movies and TV episodes.

With over 35,000 hours of exciting content for audiences with varying choices and preferences,covering Colors (Hindi), MTV, Nickelodeon, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Colors Kannada, Colors Marathi, Colors Bangla, Colors Super and Colors Gujarati,Voot offers the biggest TV Shows, Blockbuster Movies, your favorite Toons & Voot Originals, absolutely free.

Voot - Company Highlights

Startup Name Voot
Headquarters Mumbai, India
Industries Entertainmet, Mass media
Parent Company Viamcom 18
Launched March 26, 2016
CEO Sudhanshu Vats
Areas served India, United Kingdom
Website www.voot.com

Voot - About and How it works?
Voot - Logo and it's meaning
Voot - Parent Company/Owner
Voot - Team
Voot - Growth
Voot - Partnership
Voot - Revenue
Voot - Business Model
Voot - Competitors
Voot - Challenges Faced
Voot - Future Plans

Voot - About and How it works?

Voot is a video on-demand platform, part of Viacom 18 Digital Ventures,the digital arm of Viacom 18, has been around since 2016,one of the country’s largest growing media networks.

Voot used to only available in India, with over 35,000 hours of exciting content for audiences with varying choices and preferences,covering Colors (Hindi), MTV, Nickelodeon, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Colors Kannada, Colors Marathi, Colors Bangla, Colors Super and Colors Gujarati. Voot has content from Colors TV, MTV India, Nickelodeon India. It is Viacom 18's advertising-led video-on-demand platform that is available as an app for iOS, KaiOS and Android users, and a website for desktop consumption Voot offers the biggest TV Shows, Blockbuster Movies, your favorite Toons & Voot Originals, free of cost.

It also hosts many Bollywood films for streaming. It has produced several 'Voot Original' shows for streaming as well. In the children's segment, it is working on shows in Malayalam and Telugu.

Voot is a completely free service. Simply access the platform via the web or download the app on your mobile device and start watching in only a few clicks. Users have to register an account by signing up with their email or via Facebook/Google, which is quick and painless.

What’s the catch? Well, Voot is an ad-supported platform, which means you’ll have to deal with the occasional advertisement popping up during your binge-watch sessions. Ads can be annoying, but they’re a small price to pay for access to Voot’s impressive content catalogue.

Voot - Logo and it's meaning

Setting happiness as the premise for the brand, “VOOT” evolved from “Woot," capturing the spirit of celebration. Colors and dynamism being feasible for a digital brand, they developed a dynamic identity that changed with every screen refresh.

The Voot Logo
The Voot Logo

Simple geometric shapes infused with bright colour gradients were used for the alphabets VOOT to connote an effortless, approachable brand. With the simplistic approach, the logo was made customisable and could be played around with on digital screens. The brand identity was created to connote happiness across spectrum of age, geography and gender.


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Voot - Parent Company/Owner

Voot is a video on-demand platform, part of Viacom 18 Digital Ventures,the digital arm of Viacom 18, has been around since 2016,one of the country’s largest growing media networks. Viacom 18 is a joint venture of Network 18, the media group controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and U.S. media conglomerate Viacom.

Voot - Team

Rahul Joshi is the group CEO of Viacom 18, from where the Voot is derived.

Sudhanshu Vats, Ex-Group CEO & MD, Viacom18, said, “Viacom18 has grown over the years by focusing on white spaces that are challenging and yet have tremendous potential. As a network, we have been the undisputed leader in kids’ entertainment content since the past 5 years. Our digital play VOOT is the second largest video-on-demand platform in the country today.”

Sudhanshu Vats stepped down from being the CEO this year itself on April. Viacom18 has announced the appointment of Manjit Sachdev as head - content for its video on demand brands Voot and Voot Select. In her new role, Sachdev will lead the content team at Voot and will be responsible for driving the future original content strategy across the advertising and subscription businesses of Voot.

Its freemium service Voot Select was launched this quarter. Rs 13 crore was invested into Voot Select and Kids (and in Kannada and Gujarati movie channels). Operational revenue from “digital, print, others and & intercompany elim.” fell 16.6% QoQ and 20% YoY to Rs 40 crore.

Voot - Revenue

Its freemium service Voot Select was launched this quarter. Rs 13 crore was invested into Voot Select and Kids (and in Kannada and Gujarati movie channels). Operational revenue from “digital, print, others and & intercompany elim.” fell 16.6% QoQ and 20% YoY to Rs 40 crore. Now Viacom18's Voot expects 50% revenue from new subscription-led service Voot Select. Earlier, it used to be all free. It was just an ad-supported platform.

Voot - Business Model

Voot has 100 million monthly active users and aims to be one of the leading Indian OTT players. Currently driven by an Advertising supported video-on-demand model, Voot will continue to build scale by diversifying from 1 business model of AVOD to 4 - VOOT AVOD, VOOT Kids, VOOT International and VOOT Freemium. With the freemium model, Voot plans to invite more first-time users, and give them a preview of their original, exclusive content. The monetization and revenue plan will largely be advertisement driven, but premium services for pay-per-view subscribers will also bring in money. “The current digital advertisement market is around Rs 1,200 crore and will push up to Rs 6,000 in the next 2-3 years. We hope to exploit that,” Gandhi said.


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Voot - Growth

The group’s streaming platform Voot witnessed a “significant improvement” in monthly active users with the resumption of fresh content during the pandemic, the company said without specifying the exact number. The average user spent around 52 minutes on the OTT (Over the Top) service every day. A spokesperson for Voot said, “Voot enjoys the most loyal audience amongst broadcaster-OTTs.”

Voot, the four-year-old Over the Top (OTT) video platform of Viacom 18 is shifting models from free to free-mium. It is altering its content mix, making some big-bang investments in creating Originals. It went International, launched in the UK in 2018. In parallel, it is going aggressively regional as well. Also, VOOT Kids is India’s first and only multi-format kids app. No other kids app offers watch, read, listen and learn all at one place.

“People are willing to pay for compelling and binge-worthy stories,” asserts Sudhanshu Vats, the ex-CEO, on the shift to freemium. So Voot, which till now was running primarily on catch-up content and a bit of value-added content from the extensive Viacom library (that boasts shows from Colors, Tigerish, MTV, etc), is now trying to create original, digital, binge-worthy content.

Voot - Partnership

  • Online streaming platform Voot, has announced its partnership with online higher education company, upGrad, to enable the consumers and working professionals to seamlessly access entertainment and education videos, all under one roof.
  • Voot has also announced its association with Cult.Fit, a health and fitness start-up
  • Voot is also associated with Isha Foundation, founded by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev that aims to bring physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
  • Voot has also announced a strategic partnership with India’s leading content powerhouse Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. to provide its live linear channels Shemaroo TV and Shemaroo MarathiBana to the millions of users of Voot.
  • Airtel has partnered with Voot to bring more premium digital content on to its Airtel Xstream platform.

Voot - Competitors

Voot's top four competitors are:

  • hotstar.com
  • zee5.com
  • loginradius.com
  • sonyliv.com

Voot also competes with Netflix and Amazon Prime in India but these two platforms are way ahead when it comes to audience reach.

Differentiating Voot from competitive platforms, Gourav Gandhi says: “The others are just catch-up TV; we are an on-demand video service."

Voot - Challenges Faced

Voot was launched in May 2016, with a strong focus on mobile. The marketing team needed a strong attribution and measurement solution that would not only improve the speed and accuracy of multiple campaigns running at any given point in time, but also garner rich consumer insights. Voot's data-eccentric approach showed a decline by 80% in cost per acquired user.


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Voot - Future Plans

Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, said, “The foray into the subscription space with VOOT Kids is the first step in our journey towards building an entire digital ecosystem under brand VOOT. In VOOT Kids, we are bringing an offering that is child-friendly, yet parent focused, and gives them an opportunity to bond with an immersive co-consumption experience.”

VOOT Kids will be Viacom18’s first-ever digital subscription service providing immersive content delivered through an elevated product experience and seamless game-play.

The monetization and revenue plan will largely be advertisement driven, but premium services for pay-per-view subscribers will also bring in money. “The current digital advertisement market is around Rs 1,200 crore and will push up to Rs 6,000 in the next 2-3 years. We hope to exploit that,” Gandhi told.

With this launch, VOOT Kids will bring alive the ‘Masti Main Acchai’ brand idea, through high decibel integrated marketing plan that will reach over 50 million households driven by a mix of print, on-air, on-ground activation and digital outreach.

Voot, Viacom18’s digital video-on-demand streaming service, as a part of their growth strategy, has  also announced the expansion of its services in India. The company will introduce 30 original shows and it will introduce four new services for its advertisers and audience.

OTT watch time has been doing phenomenally well in their journey of three years and has grown at 8x. With 60,000 hours of content, the consumption on VOOT has also grown significantly from 34 million+ active users to 50 million+ as of now. The average time spent has also continued to grow and is now pegged at 100 billion minutes of watch time, making VOOT the second largest Indian AVOD platform.  With a commitment to offer quality and differentiated content in the digital ecosystem backed with technology and insights, VOOT now aims to reach 100 million monthly active users within the fiscal.

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About Sarika Anand

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