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Regional content big driver of Viu videos: Vuclip CEO Nickhil Jakatdar

The demand for video-on-demand has been on the rise in India. That has been driven by deeper spread of 4G services and lower tariffs. But, the big question is what people want to watch.

Anup Jayaram   New Delhi     Last Updated: May 16, 2017  | 12:37 IST
Regional content big driver of Viu videos: Vuclip CEO Nickhil Jakatdar

The demand for video-on-demand has been on the rise in India. That has been driven by deeper spread of 4G services and lower tariffs. But, the big question is what people want to watch. However, the big dilemma is to identify what people want to see. Nickhil Jakatdar, CEO at mobile video-on-demand service Vuclip has been surprised by the demand on Viu, the video-on-demand service of Vuclip. It has thrown up some interesting turns.

There is a niche of young women in India who are attracted to the fast-paced action on Korean dramas, so long as there are subtitles. That is quite in sync with what is happening in Malaysia and Indonesia. Second, there is rising demand for regional content, especially Telugu-based. The other area that is of interest to Indians is sports based content, largely related to cricket too. People love to watch anecdotal stuff. Jakatdar has discovered that people are interested in short videos of 2-3 minutes rather than a 30 minute clip. Some of that could also be driven by data speeds in the country.

Around six months ago, Viu the video-on-demand service of Vuclip tapped into the Indian interest in cricket with What the Duck, where cricket comedian Vikram Sathaye interviewed celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. Jaktdar adds that since it is anecdotal, there is high consumption on the platform by not just men but women too.

Of all episodes, the one with Sehwag was the best. In recent times Sehwag has also emerged as a satirist on Twitter too. Says Jakatdar: "Most are media companies that want to be OTT or over the top service providers. We, on the other hand are a tech company that is getting into media."

The other difference now is the continuous use of data services. Earlier, the big consumption used to happen around lunch and at night when people hooked onto wi-fi services. As a result, the average video content viewing has risen from around 15-20 minutes about six months ago to 60-80 minutes now.

"We explore all kinds of content and based on viewer preferences decide what we should offer. Yet, the focus at Viu would be on original, regional content," says Jakatdar.

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