Voot folds into JioCinema; users now free to migrate


The merger between Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd-owned video streaming app Voot and JioCinema is finally complete with the website of the latter offering users a means to switch from Voot. Voot originals such as Asur 2 and Bigg Boss OTT have already premiered on JioCinema over the past few months.

Viacom18 did not respond to Mint’s queries on the same.

While JioCinema has rolled out a premium pricing plan for 999 a year, offering only premium English language content behind a paywall, local language programming remains free on the service for now. Last September, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had approved the amalgamation of Jio Cinema with Viacom18. Further, the company had won the digital rights for the IPL for 23,757 crore.

Jio Studios, owned by Reliance Industries, may invest as much as 2,200 crore to create a repertoire of 100 movies and web originals to boost business and retain customer engagement after the end of the IPL (Indian Premier League) tournament. In such a scenario, the Voot library will bring in more mass-market audiences on the back of a strong catch-up TV programming slate from Viacom18-owned linear TV channels. Moreover, Reliance and Viacom18 tied up with James Murdoch and Uday Shankar-backed ’s Bodhi Tree Systems, an investment platform, which will put in 4,306 crore in Viacom18 as the first tranche of a 13,500 crore investment. Reliance Industries group entities will put in an additional 10,839 crore.

Media and entertainment industry experts say Shankar’s presence will further help iron things out for JioCinema. Voot, in itself, has never been a major entity in the Indian OTT market. Its SVoD (subscription video-on-demand) offering never really took off and the AVoD vertical is also smaller in size as compared to many rivals. However, it will be a positive for JioCinema given the strong line-up of Viacom18’s GEC (general entertainment category) channels. Post IPL and HBO content, the platform that is already planning to stream its own movies, could benefit from a roster of TV shows.

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. Discovery and Viacom18 inked a multi-year agreement that made JioCinema the new platform for HBO, Max Original, and Warner Bros. content in India. Global media and entertainment company NBCUniversal and JioCinema, have also entered into a multi-year partnership bringing NBCU films and TV series to India.

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Updated: 09 Aug 2023, 12:02 PM IST

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