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Viacom18 launches Voot Select for subscription-based video-on-demand

The service will stream 30 new originals, top international content as well as existing Viacom18 network shows, for a price.

Source: Viacom18 on Twitter

Shriram Iyengar

Viacom18 took another step into the digital entertainment zone with the launch of its new vertical, Voot Select, for the growing video-on-demand (VoD) market.

Launched at the JW Marriott at Sahar in Mumbai, the streaming service will feature 30 original shows, along with the existing bank of 1,500 feature films, existing Viacom18 network shows and international content for its subscribers.

It will also offer Indian audiences the chance to view all Viacom18 network shows on the service 24 hours before they are aired on television networks.

The subscription service was made available to users from 3 March 2020 acoss all platforms through the Voot app, for Rs99 a month or Rs999 per annum. An introductory offer of Rs499 for an annual subscription was also announced.

Speaking at the event, Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO and managing director of Viacom18, said, "In a short span, Voot has emerged as one of India’s largest OTT platforms with 100 billion watch minutes. It is India’s most engaged platform with an average TSV of 50 minutes. With projections of aggressive growth in fibre to home, Viacom18 is ready to go digital first. Voot Select is our premium SVoD [subscription-based video-on-demand] offering developed to cater to this growing connected TV audience."

Speaking at the launch, Ferzad Palia, head, Voot Select, Youth, Music and English Entertainment, Viacom18, said, "Voot Select has been carefully crafted and designed for today's 'on-demand' generation. We are proud to give India a destination like none other. The country's largest showcase of stories ranging from Hindi and regional originals, live television channels from across the world, the largest variety of top-drawer international content to '24 hour-before-TV' premieres of our TV network content, this is a content array like none other."

Palia revealed that the platform has signed exclusive content deals with international streaming labels like CBS, Showtime, HBO, and BBC Studios. This will enable it to stream shows like Why Women Kill, Whistleblower, Twilight Zone, Masterchef USA and Shark Tank as well as award-winning cooking series featuring Martha Stewart, Nigella Lawson and the late Anthony Bourdain.

Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Ventures, added, "Voot is the outcome of Viacom18’s vison to create a future-ready digital business catering to the evolving digital entertainment needs of every Indian. It is with this focus and a content-first approach that we have built Voot Select as a premium platform providing an enhanced viewing experience for our users. Voot Select is 'made for stories' that are differentiated and compelling and with them we are determined to be the most sought-after content destination for every Indian.”

The launch of the service was graced by talent from several upcoming original shows, including Neil Bhoopalam, Saqib Saleem, Piyush Mishra, Aahana Kumra, Rajeev Khandelwal, Barun Sobti, Vikram Bhatt and Apoorva Lakhia.

Among the series launched were Arshad Warsi's digital debut Asur, Khandelwal-Kumra's thriller Marzi, the Mishra-Akshay Oberoi legal drama Illegal, and Lakhia's Crackdown, which features Saleem. In addition, there will be the ensemble drama Raikar, featuring Atul Kulkarni. 

Speaking about his debut in the digital medium, Warsi said, "I am making my digital debut with Asur and I couldn't be more excited. The plot and storyline is so unique that it is definitely going to leave the audience on the edge of their seats at all times."

Speaking about the service, Lakhia said, "With storytelling as its forte, Voot Select has given filmmakers and storytellers like us the creative freedom to run with our thoughts. The platform is fantastic and the shows look brilliant. Viewers are in for an absolute treat with the multiple genres and fresh concepts that Voot Select has to offer."

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