Viu takes OTT-to-TV route, brings its originals' content to Zoom

For the first time, an OTT platform Viu ties up with Times Network’s music and entertainment channel Zoom to air its originals including ‘What The Duck 2’, ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Gehraiyaan’

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Published: Aug 23, 2017 7:38 AM  | 3 min read

After tasting success with its Telugu chat show ‘Yaari No 1 with Rana’ the OTT platform Viu is now experimenting with the OTT-to-TV format. It has tied up with lifestyle channel Zoom to broadcast its shows, ‘What the Duck,’ ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Gehraiyaan’ to bring in larger audiences. The cricket-themed chat show ‘What the Duck 2’ premiered on the channel on August 20 at 7pm.

Vivek Srivastava, Executive Vice President & Head Entertainment Cluster, Times Network, who looks at the strategy as an experiment, says, “We are trying to create a whole ecosystem from television, digital and social media standpoint. In the midst, we came across Viu’s exciting piece of content and it makes sense for us to put it on television. It resonates with our audience which is the millenials aged between 15 and 24.” Currently, the channel took the seventh spot in BARC’s music category fetching 41 million impressions for Week 32 (August 5–11). 

He adds, “If the experiment works it’s good for both the platforms.”

So, it’s clear the strategy is aimed to leverage Zoom’s TG (target group). Vishal Maheshwari - Country Head, Viu India, reasons, “On OTT, it (the content) is already being consumed. However, there’s a larger set of audiences that is still unexposed to our content. Therefore, this not only gives us an opportunity to connect with new viewers but also monetise the content.”

He adds, “We have a very good equation with Zoom. We have given them our premium content for world television premiere. This commercial model works for both Viu and Zoom equally.”

Srivastava feels that the theme of ‘What the Duck’ made absolute sense for a channel like Zoom ‘to move in that direction.’ “The other shows (‘Spotlight’ and ‘Gehraiyaan’) have been curated with a forward-looking mindset. That’s why it fits well with our content line-up. It suits the audience’s taste and preferences.” The business head informs us that ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Gehraiyaan’ will be Zoom’s first fiction shows as the channel has always been operating in the non-fiction and factual entertainment genres.

Without divulging numbers,Maheshwari explains the scale of the partnership, “The very fact that Zoom has taken three of the Viu original shows explains the scale.”

For ‘What the Duck’,close to seven brands including Vodafone, Ford and Flipkart have bought slots.

Right now the partnership is on till November with ‘Spotlight’ premiering sometime in September followed by ‘Gehraiyaan’.Srivastava is looking at a weekend slot for these two shows. “We are focusing on the slots and trying to build them.”

Maheshwariis confident that the shows will drive in the ratings for the channel. On an average, 60% of Viu’s viewership comes from original content.

The move is well timed with its first campaign launch which is scheduled for next week.Viu is hopeful to get more visibility and traction with this tie-up. Maheshwariagrees, “The brand Viu will definitely come to the forefront with this innovative OTT-to-TV model. Viu is ultimately going to be known for the originals. Hence, this (strategy) only helps our long-term vision of being the premium OTT player with compelling and entertaining original content. As more content gets consumed people will be aware of its availability on the app. At some level, it all adds up.”

Earlier for ‘McDowell's No. 1 Yaari with Rana’,Viu associated in the partnership as a powered by sponsor and grabbed its exclusive streaming rights. The show was ideated by media agency Mindshare for its client McDowell’s No.1 which airs simultaneously on GeminiTV and OTT platform Viu.

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