Viacom18’s over-the-top (OTT) platform Voot that launched its subscription-led service Voot Select on Tuesday, is expecting subscription revenues to contribute 50 per cent of its overall revenues in the next three years.
Voot has 100 million monthly active users and aims to be one of the leading Indian OTT players. It was looking to launch its subscription model once it attained a certain critical mass. It has an advertising led video on demand (AVoD) platform and introduced a subscription led video-on-demand (SVoD) model too. It has priced the content at par with Amazon’s Prime Video or around Rs 999 a year. The subscriber can get access to Voot’s premium content for Rs 99 a month. There is, however, an introductory offer of Rs 499 a year.
While Voot expects the subscription model to significantly contribute to its revenues, it is not in the near future. Gourav Rakshit, chief operating officer (COO) of Viacom18 Digital Ventures who heads Voo felt that by the end of this year, the AVoD service would still be significantly higher than the SVoD service. “It is a three year journey for us by when we can expect a 50:50 contribution from AVoD service,” he said.
From 100 million monthly active users (MAUs), Voot sees its user base increase to 150 million by the end of this year as a whole.
Less than 3 per cent of households in India consume pure-play entertainment content through a paid OTT service. In comparison, the US has around 40 per cent households that have at least one premium OTT subscription. India thus has a long way to go in terms of penetration.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO & MD, Viacom18, said, “In a short span, Voot has already emerged as one of India’s largest OTT platforms with 100 Mn MAUs and 100 Bn watch minutes. It is India’s most engaged platform with an average time spent per viewer (TSV )of 50 minutes."
Rakshit claimed that Voot is one of the most profitable AVoD platforms in the country. “We run the most profitable AVoD business in the country right now,” Rakshit claimed. He did not wish to give a time-frame by when Voot would be breaking even at an operational level. He felt that three years from now, Voot can look at whether to break even or invest more.
Voot will launch over 30 originals this year, bring in international content from nine international studio partnerships, 35 live channels, and 1500 movies. All this would behind the paywall to induce the AVoD consumer to buy a subscription. Rakshit said that in addition Voot would also stream its television content 24-hours in advance on its OTT platform.