IPL windfall notwithstanding, Voot has an uphill task to increase subscriber base

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Following Hotstar’s footsteps

CupShup Co-founder Sidharth Singh is certain that Viacom18 would like to repeat the success story that Disney+ Hotstar has scripted in recent times. Even before the acquisition by Disney, Singh said, Hotstar won the IPL rights and the cricket-crazed subscribers thronged the OTT for daily viewing.

“From a newbie, Disney+ Hotstar now corner 26% of the OTT market.  From a mere 2% of market share, Voot would like to take a similar path and replicate the trailblazing path that Hotstar has shown. While it is in an advantageous position to leverage as it has got plenty of Bollywood masala already on its platform and the combo of Bollywood + cricket is unmatchable when mixed proportionately, a 30% drop in viewership of IPL will definitely get talked about in the board room. What steps the BCCI takes to make it more appealing for viewers and how Voot will combine this with its existing content to increase subscriber will be interesting to see in coming times,” elucidated Sidharth Singh.

IPL is arguably the biggest broadcast event in India, but it is unlikely to change the fortunes of Voot on its own, feels an industry insider, who wishes to remain anonymous. The streaming platform will need to offer significantly more to attract viewership, just like Hotstar did, he added, further noting, “More than 70% of ICC’s revenue is generated from India, so streaming other cricket leagues could help them in gaining subscribers. And now that the bidding of ICC broadcasting rights is around the corner, the streaming platform can take advantage if they bid for that too.”

According to him, Voot will also need to generate enough ad revenue, which is very difficult as they currently stand with just a 2% market share in the OTT streaming space compared to 26% of Hotstar. They will need to focus on increasing that by streaming engaging content and maybe lowering their subscription rates.

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