India’s Viacom18 to launch OTT service VOOT

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India’s Viacom18 is launching an over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, VOOT, at the end of this month.

The service will be ad-supported and free to consumers at launch, although Viacom18 is expected to roll out a subscription service at an unspecified later date.

At launch, the service will offer around 17,000 hours of content, including films and TV programming culled from Viacom18’s archives, content acquired from independent producers, VOOT exclusives and VOOT originals.

Viacom 18 is a joint venture between Viacom and India’s Network18, which operates TV channels including Colors, MTV India, VH1 and Nickelodeon, along with film producer-distributor Viacom 18 Motion Pictures.

Nearly all of India’s major broadcasters have now launched OTT platforms. Existing services include Star India’s Hotstar, Zee Entertainment’s Ditto and Sony Pictures Network India’s SonyLIV.

India also has a growing number of SVOD services such as ErosNow, HOOQ and most recently Netflix, which launched in India at the beginning of this year.

Digital partners for VOOT include platform provider Kaltura; US-based A Different Engine for User Experience and User Interface design; Web Dunia for website development and systems integration; and Robosoft Technologies for mobile apps.