Monday, December 30, 2019

Viacom18 Launches VOOT Kids, India's First and Only Multi-Format Kids App Offering Fun & Learning

Viacom18 launches India's first and only multi-format Kids app offering Fun & Learning - 'VOOT Kids'

~ Watch, Read, Listen & Learn all at one place! ~

~ Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), VOOT Kids hosts the largest content library of over 20,000 content pieces across segments ~


(L-R): Sudhanshu Vats, Saugato Bhowmik, actress Soha Ali Khan, educationist Swati Popat, actor Aashish Chaudhary, and Gourav Rakshit at the launch event for Voot Kids

Mumbai, 12th November 2019: Viacom18, India’s fastest growing entertainment network is all set to expand its digital ecosystem with the launch of its first subscription play – VOOT Kids. Leading kids’ content on broadcast, Viacom18 now extends its thought leadership with a unique digital service for kids, which creates a seamless experience for both fun and learning in a safe, parentally controlled environment. Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), VOOT Kids is India’s first and only multi-format Kids app offering Fun & Learning, with its largest and most versatile collection of over 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes, aims to usher in the next evolution in the kid’s digital ecosystem. Priced at INR 799 for a year and 99 per month with Free Trials in both packages, the VOOT Kids app is available to download on iOS and Play Store.

“Viacom18 has grown over the years by focussing 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.” said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO & MD, Viacom18, adding, “VOOT Kids is a synergy of these two growth stories from the house of Viacom18. Marking our sharper segmented foray into the world of subscription based VoD, VOOT Kids is India’s first and only multi-format Kids app offering Fun & Learning. No other kids app offers Watch, Read, Listen & Learn all at one place”


With a mission to make screen time meaningful for Kids, the app strikes a balance between fun learning and entertainment for kids between the age of 02 to 08 years. The app will achieve this by delivering a holistic experience focussed on viewing, reading, listening and playing all in one place. The app encompasses Kids’ favourite toons, best of pre-school and learning shows, beautifully crafted picture e-books, audio stories and fun quizzes and will empower parents with relevant and superior quality engagement options for their children. Behind this impressive content line-up are partnerships with best in class brand owners and leaders like Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and many more.

Speaking about VOOT’s venture into the premium subscription space, 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. VOOT Kids has been built on the 3 pillars of Product Experience, Content and Safety. In VOOT Kids, we are bringing an offering that is child-friendly, yet parent focussed and gives them an opportunity to bond with an immersive co-consumption experience. Our brand philosophy of ‘Masti Mein Acchai’ reflects our mission to make screen time meaningful.”


VOOT Kids is a key enabler that enhances the bond between parents and children through immersive co-consumption experiences. The curated ad-free content library has parental control features that allow parents to evaluate progress, limit screen time and track content consumed which makes VOOT Kids India’s safest one-stop online destination that entertains, engages and enriches kids, all under one roof.

Elaborating, Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, VOOT Kids said, “VOOT Kids is a category creating product in the space of digital fun learning that caters to needs of discerning Indian parents who seek meaningful screen-time that aids in holistic development of the child’s mental, emotional and social faculties. The app has the largest and most versatile offerings in the space of toon videos, e-books, audio stories and fun quizzes that provides children with a parent-controlled, safe and entertaining content destination.” He further added, “We believe masti should never be served up without acchai and the same holds true the other way around. And this is our guiding philosophy at VOOT Kids”

VOOT Kids will be Viacom18’s first ever digital subscription service providing immersive content delivered through an elevated product experience and seamless gameplay. With this launch, VOOT Kids will bring alive the ‘Masti Main Acchai’ brand idea through a high decibel integrated marketing plan that will reach over 50 mn households driven by a mix of print, on-air, on-ground activations and digital outreach. Priced at INR 799 for a year with a 30 day free trial and 99 per month with a 7 day free trial, the VOOT Kids app is available to download on iOs and Android.

About VOOT Kids

VOOT Kids is India’s first and only multi-format Kids app offering Fun & Learning. The app has four major categories: WATCH, LEARN, READ AND LISTEN including hours of Indian and International content. The rich content library also consists of MCQ’s covering 5 skill set domains, audio books from Karadi Tales, Jataka Tales and audio originals with character led stories and best-selling e-books. The content on VOOT Kids will help a child create a perfect balance between learning and having fun. The app is available on iOS and Android phones.

About VOOT

VOOT is India’s second largest digital video-on-demand streaming service from the house of Viacom18. With a content library of more than 60,000 hours across Viacom18’s network content, exclusive content around network shows and VOOT Originals, the platform caters to varying needs of discerning audiences across segments. With over 80 million monthly active users, VOOT is the most engaged platform in the ad-supported service space. VOOT continues to take the leadership mantel on innovation, across content, technology and marketing initiatives, aimed at providing an immersive experience to its users.

About Viacom18

Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. is one of India's fastest growing entertainment networks and a house of iconic brands that offers multi-platform, multi-generational and multicultural brand experiences. A joint venture of TV18, which owns 51%, and Viacom Inc., with a 49% stake, Viacom18 defines entertainment in India by touching the lives of people through its properties on air, online, on ground, in shop and through cinema.

From Livemint:

The idea of catering to kids is very close to Viacom’s DNA given that we own the top kids television channels, said Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures

Viacom18 launches multi-format kids app, VOOT Kids

The app will be entirely separate from Viacom’s advertising-led video-on-demand platform VOOT and target kids aged between 2 to 8 years
The app is priced at Rs. 99 per month and Rs.799 per year and available for download on both iOS and Android formats

NEW DELHI : Media and entertainment conglomerate Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd announced the launch of VOOT Kids, a new kids app that combines audio, video and text along with puzzles and quizzes. It is priced at Rs. 99 per month and Rs. 799 per year and available for download on both iOS and Android formats.

The app will be entirely separate from Viacom’s advertising-led video-on-demand platform VOOT and target kids aged between 2 to 8 years.

“The idea of catering to kids is very close to Viacom’s DNA given that we own the top kids television channels. We were running some content on VOOT itself but making it more meaningful wouldn’t have been possible on a video-on-demand platform," Gourav Rakshit, chief operating officer, Viacom18 Digital Ventures said.

Rakshit said the app will provide full security and parental control not just in terms of the content kids consume and engage with but also the amount of time they spend on the app. The 20,000 pieces of content on the service includes animation shows like Chhota Bheem, Motu Patlu and Rudra: Boom Chik Chik Boom, e-books from leading publishers and folk tales and fables narrated on audio besides games, puzzles and quizzes. These have been collated in collaboration with brand owners like Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and others, whom the platform has a long-term partnership with.

“Viacom18 has grown over the years by focusing on white spaces that are challenging and yet have tremendous potential. VOOT Kids is a synergy of the two growth stories from the house of Viacom18—our broadcast network and VOOT (the OTT platform). Marking our sharper segmented foray into the world of subscription-based VoD, VOOT Kids is India’s first and only multi-format kids app offering fun and learning," said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and MD, Viacom18, said in a statement.

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From Kidscreen:

Viacom18 enters India’s kids SVOD market

For two- to eight-year-olds, VOOT Kids offers a mix of Indian animated series like Nickelodeon's Golmaal Jr. and international acquisitions including Peppa Pig.

India-based entertainment conglomerate Viacom18 has launched VOOT Kids, the company’s first subscription app for children.

VOOT Kids targets children ages two to eight and is available for iOS and Android devices at US$1.39 per month (INR 99) and US$11 (INR 799) for a yearly subscription. The monthly offer includes a seven-day free trial, while the yearly package has a month-long free option.

The ad-free service provides a library of more than 15,000 episodes of animated series such as local Indian Nick shows Motu Patlu and Golmaal Jr., as well as international series like Peppa Pig, Pokémon, Ben 10 and PAW Patrol. The platform’s brand partners include Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, CBeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego.

VOOT Kids also features more than 500 kids eBook titles from brands including Chhota Bheem, Dora The Explorer, Thumbelina, Masha & the Bear, Wheels on the Bus, Aladdin, Gulliver’s Travels, The Ugly Duckling, Jack and The Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.

In addition, 150-plus curated audio stories are available spanning Indian folktales to princess stories like Cinderella and Princess and the Frog. More than 5,000 educational games and quizzes are featured, too, covering areas such as language skills, math and creative expression.

For parents, a special zone lets them assess their child’s learning progress, set screen time limits, track content consumption and create up to four kid profiles each with their own viewing preferences, recommendations and settings.

The app follows Viacom18′s AVOD service VOOT for older audiences. It features more than 60,000 hours of exclusive original and acquired content and, to date, has generated more than 80 million monthly active users.

VOOT Kids arrives in a crowded Indian mobile streaming market and will compete with the likes of Netflix, Apple TV+ and Amazon. Whether or not Disney+ launches in the region as part of its international rollout remains to be seen.

Disney-owned streaming service Hotstar currently leads the Indian online content market with more than 300 million monthly active users, according to recent findings by Bangalore-based research and consulting firm RedSeer. Chinese social media streamer TikTok is fourth on the list at 129 million, while Amazon Prime and Netflix land at 13 million and 11 million, respectively.

To increase its user base in the region, Netflix introduced a low-priced mobile-only tier in July that costs US$2.80 (INR 199) per month. It’s also investing more in local original animated content. Mighty Little Bheem, its first original Indian kids series, was renewed for a third season in August. On the linear TV side, Nick India has been launching more originals, too. Bollywood spin-off Golmaal Jr. premiered in May on Nick’s Sonic kids channel for 10 to 13-year-olds.

Meanwhile, Viacom18′s strategy for developing exclusive original toons for VOOT Kids is yet to be revealed.

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From TVKIDS:

India’s VOOT Unveils Subscription App for Kids’ Content

Viacom18’s on-demand platform VOOT in India has launched an ad-free kids’ app priced at 99 rupees ($1.40) a month.

VOOT Kids will offer up more than 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes targeted at kids between the ages of 2 and 8. Content is available from Nickelodeon, WarnerMedia, Green Gold Animation, CBeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and more.

“Viacom18 has grown over the years by focusing on white spaces that are challenging and yet have tremendous potential,” said Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO and managing director of Viacom18. “As a network, we have been the undisputed leader in kids’ entertainment content for the past five years. Our digital play VOOT is the second-largest video-on-demand platform in the country today. VOOT Kids is a synergy of these two growth stories from the house of Viacom18. Marking our sharper segmented foray into the world of subscription-based VOD, VOOT Kids is India’s first and only multiformat kids’ app offering fun and learning. No other kids’ app offers watch, read, listen and learn all at one place.”

Gourav Rakshit, COO of Viacom18 Digital Ventures, added, “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. VOOT Kids has been built on the three pillars of product experience, content and safety. 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. Our brand philosophy of ‘Masti Mein Acchai’ reflects our mission to make screen time meaningful.”

Saugato Bhowmik, business head for VOOT Kids, noted, “VOOT Kids is a category-creating product in the space of digital fun learning that caters to needs of discerning Indian parents who seek meaningful screentime that aids in holistic development of the child’s mental, emotional and social faculties. The app has the largest and most versatile offerings in the space of toon videos, e-books, audio stories and fun quizzes that provides children with a parent-controlled, safe and entertaining content destination.”

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From The Economic Times:

Viacom18 launches subscription VOD service for kids

Priced at Rs 99 per month and Rs 799 per year, the service is first subscription service from the broadcast network. Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), VOOT Kids will be available to download on iOS and Android Play Store.

MUMBAI: Viacom18 has announced the launch of VOOT Kids, a first of its kind multi-format Kids app offering ‘fun & learning’, with a collection of over 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes.

Priced at Rs 99 per month and Rs 799 per year, the service is first subscription service from the broadcast network.

Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), VOOT Kids will be available to download on iOS and Android Play Store.

“We realized that in order to make Viacom18 future ready, we have to build our digital portfolio. And while Voot is there for adults, it made a lot of sense for us to bring in a separate kids app as we have a lot of local and global IPs,” said Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO & MD, Viacom18.

Vats added that VOOT Kids is a unique product, which combines watchin, listening, reading and learning. “It’s a first Indian multi-format app for kids,” he said. “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.”

Targeted towards kids between age 2012 year olds, the service will have more content for the preschoolers. It will have toons, best of pre-school and learning shows, picture e-books, audio stories and fun quizzes.

Viacom18 has got content from Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and others for this service. “We practically have everything that is not Disney,” Vats said.

Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures, added that the foray into the subscription space with VOOT Kids is the first step in the company’s journey towards building an entire digital ecosystem under brand VOOT.

“VOOT Kids has been built on the 3 pillars of Product Experience, Content and Safety. In VOOT Kids, we are bringing an offering that is child-friendly, yet parent focussed and gives them an opportunity to bond with an immersive co-consumption experience,” Rakshit said.

The company has planned a high decibel integrated marketing campaign that will reach over 50 million households driven by a mix of print, on-air, on-ground activations and digital outreach.

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From TelevisionPost:

Viacom18 launches its first-ever SVoD service Voot Kids priced at Rs 799/ year

MUMBAI: Broadcaster Viacom18 is all set to expand its digital ecosystem with the launch of its first subscription play Voot Kids. Priced at Rs 799 for a year and Rs 99 per month with free trials in both packages. The Voot Kids app is available to download on iOS and Play Store.

Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), Voot Kids is being positioned as a multi-format Kids app offering Fun & Learning, with a collection of over 20,000 videos, e-books, stories, and quizzes, aims to usher in the next evolution in the kid’s digital ecosystem.

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

“Voot Kids is a synergy of these two growth stories from the house of Viacom18. Marking our sharper segmented foray into the world of subscription-based VoD, Voot Kids is India’s first and only multi-format Kids app offering Fun & Learning. No other kids app offers Watch, Read, Listen & Learn all at one place.”

He noted that Viacom18 has built a big TV kids business with a share of 34% between its four channels. “Kids content is in the DNA of Viacom18. Nickelodeon has been number one for five straight years. Sonic is number two.”

Therefore, Voot Kids is the next logical step. With 80 million monthly active users (MAUs) and watch time of 50 minutes a day, Voot claims to be the second biggest OTT platform with kids content contributing a significant chunk of the viewership. He added that 15% of Voot’s daily content consumption comes from the kids genre.

The SVoD platform’s content line-up is powered by brands like Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego and many more.

The app encompasses Kids’ favourite toons, best of pre-school and learning shows, beautifully crafted picture e-books, audio stories, and fun quizzes and will empower parents with relevant and superior quality engagement options for their children.

Speaking about Voot’s venture into the premium subscription space, Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO Gourav Rakshit 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. Voot Kids has been built on the 3 pillars of Product Experience, Content and Safety. In Voot Kids, we are bringing an offering that is child-friendly, yet parent focussed and gives them an opportunity to bond with an immersive co-consumption experience. Our brand philosophy of ‘Masti Mein Acchai’ reflects our mission to make screen time meaningful.”

He further stated that given the value being offered the subscription price represents excellent value for money. He added that the price points were arrived at after some amount of experimentation and seeing what other services are priced at.

Voot Kids is a key enabler that enhances the bond between parents and children through immersive co-consumption experiences. The curated ad-free content library has parental control features that allow parents to evaluate progress, limit screen time and track content consumed which makes Voot Kids India’s safest one-stop online destination that entertains, engages and enriches kids, all under one roof.

Voot Kids business head Saugato Bhowmik elaborated further, “Voot Kids is a category-creating product in the space of digital fun learning that caters to needs of discerning Indian parents who seek meaningful screen-time that aids in the holistic development of the child’s mental, emotional and social faculties. The app has the largest and most versatile offerings in the space of toon videos, e-books, audio stories and fun quizzes that provides children with a parent-controlled, safe and entertaining content destination.”

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

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From Moneycontrol:

Viacom18 launches multi-format kids app VOOT Kids

To drive content, VOOT Kids has partnered with Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego.


Viacom18 on November 12 announced the launch of VOOT Kids, India's first multi-format kids app with collection of over 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes.

VOOT Kids will follow the subscription-based model unlike VOOT, that is driven by advertising.

Priced at Rs 799 for a year and Rs 99 per month with free trials in both packages, VOOT Kids is available on both iOS and Play Store platforms.

"We wanted to build something that goes beyond video. One of the key things that came out in our interactions with parents is that content should safe for viewing by children. Hence, ad-free is important," said Gourav Rakshit, COO, Viacom18 Digital Ventures.

To drive content, VOOT Kids has partnered with Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego.

"VOOT Kids been over two years in the making of VOOT Kids and content partnerships that have been rolling for a long time. Just to get the content portfolio right has taken a lot of work," said Rakshit.

The app has four major categories — watch, learn, read, and listen, including hours of Indian and International content. The content library also consists of MCQ's covering five skill set domains, audio books from Karadi Tales, Jataka Tales and audio originals with character led stories and best-selling e-books.

Viacom18's digital video-on-demand platform VOOT, launched three years ago, currently has over 80 million monthly active users (MAUs).

(Disclaimer: TV18 Broadcast is a part of Network 18, which also publishes Moneycontrol)

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From Gadgets 360:

Voot Kids Launched as Viacom18's First Subscription Offering Just Ahead of Children's Day: Price, Free Trial, and More

With Nickelodeon, WarnerMedia, and Lego as content partners.

Just ahead of Children's day, after over half a year of beta testing, Viacom18-owned Voot has launched its first subscription-based, children-oriented offering Voot Kids. It claims to offer more than 20,000 videos, ebooks, stories, and quizzes, in an attempt to deliver on its four-quadrant play of “watch, read, listen, and learn” that is aimed at kids between the ages of 2–8 years. To build up its content library, it has partnered with the likes of Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, WarnerMedia, Green Gold, BBC's CBeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, and Lego among others. Available on Android and iOS, Voot Kids costs Rs. 99 per month after a 7-day free trial, or Rs. 799 per year after a 30-day free trial.

“Voot Kids [...] caters to needs of discerning Indian parents who seek meaningful screen-time that aids in holistic development of the child's mental, emotional and social faculties,” Voot Kids business head Saugato Bhowmik said in a prepared statement. “The app has the largest and most versatile offerings in the space of toon videos, e-books, audio stories, and fun quizzes that provides children with a parent-controlled, safe and entertaining content destination. We believe masti [fun] should never be served up without acchai [goodness] and the same holds true the other way around. And this is our guiding philosophy at Voot Kids.”

In its announcement, Viacom18 said that Voot Kids has been certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA). Additionally, its curated ad-free content library — which features multiple-choice questions covering five skill-set domains, audio books from Karadi Tales and Jataka Tales, and audio originals with character-led stories — comes with parental controls that allow parents to “evaluate progress, limit screen time and track content consumed”.

“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,” Viacom18 Digital Ventures COO Gourav Rakshit said. “Voot Kids has been built on the three pillars of ‘product experience', ‘content' and ‘safety'. 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. Our brand philosophy of ‘Masti Mein Acchai [Goodness in Fun]' reflects our mission to make screen time meaningful.”

“Viacom18 has grown over the years by focusing on white spaces that are challenging and yet have tremendous potential,” said Viacom18 Group CEO & MD Sudhanshu Vats. “As a network, we have been the undisputed leader in kids' entertainment content since the past five years. Our digital play Voot is the second largest video-on-demand platform in the country today. Voot Kids is a synergy of these two growth stories from the house of Viacom18. Marking our sharper segmented foray into the world of subscription-based video-on-demand, Voot Kids is India's first and only multi-format kids' app offering fun & learning. No other kids' app offers watch, read, listen & learn all at one place.”

Voot is soon expected to launch a subscription offering of its main ad-led platform as well.

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From TBI Vision:

Viacom18 launches first SVOD play in India with Voot Kids

Viacom18 is launching its first SVOD play in India with a kids app.

The platform, Voot Kids, is an extension of the existing AVOD brand Voot, headed up by Viacom18 group CEO Sudanshu Vats, who first detailed the kids SVOD plans to TBI last year.

TBI understands that the launch of an SVOD tier for the main service is also imminent.

The Voot Kids service – priced at INR799 ($11) per year or INR99 ($1.30) per month – is aimed at kids aged 2-8 and offers more than 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes. Free trials are to be made available in both packages, and the service is available to download via iOS and Android.

Content spans partnerships with the likes of Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, WarnerMedia, Green Gold, Cbeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego.

Voot’s content library covers more than 60,000 hours and carries Viacom18’s network of content as well as originals. The platform has more than 80m monthly active users.

Vats said: “Viacom18 has grown over the years by focussing 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 five years. Our digital play Voot is the second largest video-on-demand platform in the country today.

“Voot Kids is a synergy of these two growth stories from the house of Viacom18. Marking our sharper segmented foray into the world of subscription-based VOD, Voot Kids is India’s first and only multi-format kids app offering fun and learning. No other kids app offers [the ability to] watch, read, listen and learn all at one place”

Gourav Rakshit, COO of 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. Voot Kids has been built on the three pillars of product experience, content and safety.

“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. Our brand philosophy of ‘Masti Mein Acchai’ reflects our mission to make screen time meaningful.”

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From exchange4media:

'VOOT Kids will be looking at expanding to South Asia'

Though the app will follow a subscription-based model, Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, VOOT Kids, said the platform was getting a lot of interest from tech and TV partners

Viacom18 has announced its first subscription led offering VOOT Kids - a multi-format kids’ app that offers a collection of over 20,000 e-books, videos, quizzes and games.

To drive the content, VOOT Kids has entered into content partnership with 15 to 20 content companies including Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego.

Saugato Bhowmik, Business Head, VOOT Kids, shared with exchange4media the app’s focus area, price point, advertising model and more.

“The focus is to create India's first multi-format, safe, parent controlled app that addresses various needs at one go. It entertains, enriches and enables at the same time. There is a dire need for parents to curate multiple learning but fun engagements for the child all the time. We are trying to solve that for parents, we are curating for them,” Bhowmik said.

With a mission to make screen time meaningful for kids, the app strikes a balance between fun learning and entertainment for children aged between the age of 2 to 8 years. Certified by Early Childhood Association (ECA), VOOT Kids aims to usher in the next evolution in the kids’ digital ecosystem. The app is priced at Rs 799 for a year and Rs 99 per month with free trials for 30 days.

Bhowmik also highlighted that on the VOOT app, which has an advertising-led model, 15 per cent of the daily viewership on the app was coming for kids’ content which led to the decision of launching a separate app for kids. “That is what got us started thinking that there is a large opportunity here and we must investigate more into the category,” he added. With VOOT Kids, the platform is targeting 107 million households with kids aged 2-10 years. The app is available across seven languages.

“We’re not solving for a few markets. This is a pan-India app and soon we will also be looking at expanding to it to South Asia and some other countries,” he informed.

Though the app will follow a subscription-based model, Bhowmik shared the app was also getting a lot of partner interest.

“We have experienced a lot of interest from tech partners, TV partners and others. So there's a lot of partner interest, which will also be a separate line of business and add to the revenue. We will also open conversations with multiple schools across the country, and take the app to schools. Maybe one day, we will also create a customised product for schools. But as of today, we are only going to go talk to schools about the need for such progressive fun learning capabilities and then we will see how it goes from there,” Bhowmik added.

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

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From Quartz India:

India’s leading kids entertainment network unleashes Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol to win OTT war

Indian media and entertainment giant Viacom18 is trying to carve a niche for itself in India’s overcrowded over-the-top (OTT) space.

On Nov. 12, the Mumbai-based network launched the multiformat app Voot Kids that offers children a collection of over 20,000 videos, e-books, stories, and quizzes in Hindi and English. The app will be separate from Viacom 18’s advertisement-led, OTT platform Voot.

Voot Kids, whose annual subscription plan is priced at Rs799 ($9.8), adds to Viacom18’s kids’ portfolio comprising TV channels Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Its kids channels lead the genre on Indian television with a market share of over 34%, according to the company. The network boasts exclusive rights in India to air popular cartoon shows such as Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol, and also Indian ones such as Chhotta Bheem.

In the general entertainment OTT category, though, it is behind peers.

By some estimates, Viacom18’s Voot app, which was launched in 2016 and now has over 80 million monthly active users, lags home-grown rival Hotstar and international competitors such as Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Videos in terms of market share.

Voot Kids is not competing for eyeballs or revenues with Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, or Hotstar, according to Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO and managing director, Viacom18.

“Video content consumption is on the rise in India. It is estimated to be over Rs6,000 crore ($831 million) and growing,” Vats told Quartz India. “There are huge gaps in kids’ digital ecosystem. There is no single platform meeting kids’ entertainment and education needs at the same time. Voot Kids is aimed at filling this gap.”

In an interview, Vats talks about the importance of screen time for kids, bundling fun, and learning together and the challenges that parents and kids face in navigating the online space safely. Edited excerpts:

What are the key consumer insights that have gone into creating the Voot Kids app?

Many parents feel children’s screen time is junk time. Yet, with the digital revolution, the truth is, we cannot run away from the reality of children spending time watching video. So, we thought of flipping this notion of screen time being a non-productive activity on its head. With our brand philosophy of “Masti Main Acchai” (There is goodness in fun) we want to let parents know that fun time for kids can also be learning time for them.

How is Voot Kids positioned?

Entertainment is at the core of the app, but it’s not just about entertainment, it’s an edutainment product. When you hear of an OTT offering, you instantly think video. Next, one moves on to think about product and service offerings such as Apple, Kindle and other music apps. Voot Kids is a combination of all these products and services. It’s a first of its kind multi-format product. It makes kids’ video-watching and learning a richer experience.

There are many entertainment and edutainment apps like ChuChu TV and YouTube. How do you plan to compete with them?

We are trying to create a new digital ecosystem for kids. Voot Kids offers videos, audiobooks, e-books, quizzes, and gaming. Each of these segments is highly interactive. For example, our book reader is highly interactive. When we say, “The sun rises in the morning,” and a kid puts a finger on the sun, the app shows how morning comes. She learns to pronounce as well as spell words. In the kids entertainment-edutainment market, there are white spaces, and Voot Kids fills this gap.

YouTube, with its advertising-based model, might be the biggest free video content provider, but with our multi-format content offering, we are uniquely placed to offer kids both fun and learning.

What’s your target group and content strategy?

Our larger audience group for the app is kids in the 2-12 years age group. Having said that, the primary target group is 2-6-year-olds.

We have a strong content library, courtesy of our two existing kids offerings on TV—Nickelodeon and Nick India. We have also borrowed content from Warner Media, Oxford University Press, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel, Lego. Then we have also sourced content from Indian IPRs (Intellectual Property Rights) and from countries like South Korea and Japan. Our content portfolio consists of everything outside Walt Disney. It’s a massive advantage for us.

Going by your experience on TV, what are the most popular genres, and characters in kids entertainment?

Kids in India enjoy international as well as Indian content. Those in the two- to four-year age group enjoy watching international shows such as Peppa Pig. For older kids, the favourite characters and shows are Motu Patlu, Shivaay and Chhota Bheem. Indian kids’ entertainment market is big on animation.

Exposure to age-inappropriate content is a big concern when kids are online. How are you addressing safety concerns of parents?

The product has a strong in-built parental control and feedback mechanism. Parents can monitor and control the kind of videos kids watch on the app. We also have built-in features that help parents evaluate their kids’ performance, when it comes to learning through the app.

Voot Kids is a subscription-based offering. Are viewers ready to consume paid content, particularly in the kids’ space?

As a paid product, Voots Kids is an ad-free platform available in English and Hindi languages. Before launching the product, we carried out a simulation exercise looking at how much money parents spend on say video and other entertainment products for kids. Based on these insights, our monthly subscription plan is priced at Rs99 and we also have an annual plan for Rs799.

What’s the key challenge facing the company as it woos parents and kids?

The Voot Kids launch presents us with a classic marketing challenge, wherein we have to effectively communicate to parents why this app is relevant to their kids and educate them on how to use it. Creating awareness is a key challenge.

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From ETtech:

Voot Kids partners with BBC Studios for CBeebies content

As part of this partnership, Voot Kids subscribers will be able to access pre-school content from CBeebies including several of its prominent shows like Hey Duggee, Go Jetters, Dinopaws and Mr Bloom’s Nursery.

Voot Kids, the subscription-based kids edutainment app from Viacom18, has partnered with BBC Studios’ CBeebies to strengthen its content library.

As part of this partnership, Voot Kids subscribers will be able to access pre-school content from CBeebies including several of its prominent shows like Hey Duggee, Go Jetters, Dinopaws, Mr Bloom’s Nursery and Old Jack's Boat Rockpool Tales along with CBeebies’ collection of bedtime stories.

"With VOOT Kids, our endeavor is to create a superior curated platform that brings together a prudent mix of fun and learning. Our diverse and expansive content library and games are a great way for parents to infuse meaningful and fun learning opportunities into the daily lives of kids, largely interested only in entertainment." said Saugato Bhowmik - Business Head, VOOT Kids.

Viacom18 had launched Voot Kids in India last month, after piloting the service for several months. Priced at Rs 99 per month and Rs 799 per year, this is the first subscription offering from the Reliance-owned entertainment network. Its flagship video streaming service Voot is currently available on an ad-supported basis.

Voot Kids claims to offer more than 5,000 hours of content across Indian and International shows like Dora the Explorer, Oswald, Motu Patlu, Peppa Pig, Chhota Bheem, Ben10 and Barbie Dreamtopia. Apart from video shows, the app also offers audio books, games and picture e-books. It claims to have content tie-ups with brands like Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, Ceebeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego among others.

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From The Financial Express:

Why OTT platforms are carving a separate space for children’s content

According to Netflix, 83 million households on its platform (comprising 60% of its users) watch kids and family-content, globally

As of December 2019, the YouTube Kids app saw over 100 million installs, while ChuChu TV Pro, ChuChuTV Lite and Voot Kids have been installed by over one million users each on Google Play Store

With kids emerging as one of the fastest-growing audiences on digital media, over-the-top (OTT) service providers are busy vying for their attention with exclusive offerings. According to a PwC report, two million children around the world went online for the first time in 2018. Furthermore, streaming giant Netflix has reported that as many as 83 million households on its platform (comprising 60% of its users) watch kids and family-content, globally.

While YouTube was the first mover, players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have historically had a separate section for kids content. Now, Indian OTT players too, the likes of Hungama Digital and Viacom18’s Voot, have introduced standalone apps for kids. ChuChu TV, which runs several kids channels on YouTube, has also expanded its services to OTT.

With kids emerging as one of the fastest-growing audiences on digital media, over-the-top (OTT) service providers are busy vying for their attention with exclusive offerings. According to a PwC report, two million children around the world went online for the first time in 2018. Furthermore, streaming giant Netflix has reported that as many as 83 million households on its platform (comprising 60% of its users) watch kids and family-content, globally.

While YouTube was the first mover, players such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have historically had a separate section for kids content. Now, Indian OTT players too, the likes of Hungama Digital and Viacom18’s Voot, have introduced standalone apps for kids. ChuChu TV, which runs several kids channels on YouTube, has also expanded its services to OTT.

As of December 2019, the YouTube Kids app saw over 100 million installs, while ChuChu TV Pro, ChuChuTV Lite and Voot Kids have been installed by over one million users each on Google Play Store.

Given that parents seek age-appropriate content for their kids, a separate app for kids-only content is a good idea, says Ashish Pherwani, partner and media and entertainment leader, EY India. But will they find many takers?

Not just fun

The newer OTT apps are differentiating themselves by including educational content on their platforms. Voot Kids, for instance, includes e-books, audio books and quizzes, besides content from Viacom18’s TV channel Nickelodeon. The platform has tied up with Oxford University Press, WarnerMedia, YoBoHo, BBC Studios’ CBeebies, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and LEGO, among others, for the same.

“Almost 15% of the daily viewers on Voot come for kids content. We also learnt that 87% of Indian parents agree that mobile helps immensely with their kid’s learning,” says Saugato Bhowmik, business head, Voot Kids. Voot Kids focusses on fun learning, and has advertised this in its campaign, #MastiMeinAcchai. It is a multi-format app featuring key sections dedicated to ‘watch, read, listen and learn’ with over 20,000 content pieces. The app follows the subscription model, and is available at `99 per month and `799 per year.

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Hungama Kids has 2,000 minutes of video on its platform on topics ranging from general knowledge to science and mathematics. It has specific content across five age groups (from 0-18 years). “We are creating a product that not only talks about entertainment, but is big on education, too. We have realised that besides kids, we can also create content for parents and teachers keeping kids at the centre of it,” says Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media.

Hungama Kids’ subscription packages are priced at `30 a month and `300 a year, with an initial free trial offer for a day.

Teething troubles

As these companies try to tap a larger share of kids’ viewership in the country, monetisation remains the biggest challenge. While advertising is not a viable option for these platforms, subscription-based apps have not found many takers in the country so far.

“There is a very good product in YouTube Kids, which is free so the subscription-based apps will have a tough time convincing parents to sign up for their products,” says an industry analyst.

Vinoth Chander, co-founder and CEO of ChuChuTV, says the company still gets a major share of revenue from its YouTube channels, despite being present across OTT apps such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, and having an OTT platform of its own. Its subscription-based app ChuChu TV Pro has over 50,000 paid subscribers.

The lack of original content is another impediment. A report by KPMG states that although OTT platforms have increased their share in the overall Intellectual Property (IP) production revenue pie, TV content still contributes significantly to it. Raman Kalra, partner, PwC India, says, “If you want customers to stick to your platform, a few IPs are needed, because viewers are not loyal to platforms these days, but to the content.”

Indian businesses have not invested in original content as they were discouraged early on with the poor performance of domestic animation, says Jehil Thakkar, partner, Deloitte. “Also, building IP is a long-term investment; you have to build an ecosystem around it,” he adds.

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Originally published: Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
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