PCCW Media’s pan-regional OTT service Viu is aiming to ramp up its content line-up with the launch of four new original shows by the end of December 2017. The four shows will be bi-lingual focusing on the Hindi- and Telugu-speaking markets.

The first series to launch is the social media thriller titled Social. The series will be launched in September. It is produced by Backout Media and features popular artist Priya Banerjee. Viu India plans to launch a new series every month this year. For 2018, the aim is to launch two series per month.

The company’s India head of marketing Shantanu Gangane said, “Viu will launch only original content in both long and short formats. We aim to offer content in a contemporary format featuring known actors.”

The platform currently has six original bilingual shows on its platform—‘Gehraiyaan’, ‘Spotlight’, ‘Chhaliya Wedding Khichdi’, ‘What the Duck’ and ‘Munching with Mahathalli’. With the four new series, the total will be 10 original shows.

To strengthen its base in the digital market and get more visibility, Viu India is considering various avenues including television. Experimenting with the OTT-to-TV format, the platform has joined hands with lifestyle channel Zoom to broadcast three of its popular shows—What the Duck, Spotlight and Gehraiyaan. 

Viu India head Vishal Maheshwari said, “There’s a larger set of audience that is still unexposed to our content. Therefore, this gives us an opportunity not only to connect with new viewers but also to monetise the content. We have a very good equation with Zoom. We have given them our premium content for world television premieres. This commercial model works for both Viu and Zoom equally.”

The OTT platform claims to enjoy around 60 percent viewership through its original content. It operates on an ad-supported model as well as a premium subscription tier of service. Viu has already got on board brands such as Vodafone, Ford and Flipkart. The platform has witnessed 50 perecent growth in its active user base recording around 100 minutes of consumption.

Gangane believe that the new campaign ‘Kaafi Feels Bro!’ will help to double the number of subscribers as well as advertisers. It is Viu India’s first integrated brand marketing campaign. Made by Bates Chi & Partners India, the brand film echoes the essential intent of offering content that appeals to consumers’ emotions in a variety of genres such as horror, drama, romance and comedy. It focuses on riveting, fresh and original stories available on the platform including movies and Korean shows. The 360-degree marketing campaign will be rolled out across TV, print, OOH, radio and social platforms.

Bates Chi & Partners India, CEO, VS Srikanth stated, “It was a great experience to co-create this communication with Viu and we look forward to many more such experiences. The collaborative effort of the Viu and Bates teams has led to this piece of communication—a perfect representation of youth and their viewing habits. We knew we had a winner when we first presented the line Kaafi Feels Bro! After much deliberation, testing and market research, here we are today. The rest, as they say, is history.”

The campaign was created in two languages, Hindi and Telugu, signifying the availability of multilingual content on Viu, both original and licensed.

“At Viu, our endeavour is to offer great viewing experiences and riveting content with a dose of local flavours to our audiences. With compelling content that is bound to evoke various emotions from viewers, our first brand campaign is a reminder of the diverse genres, moving stories, interesting and original content available for our viewers on the platform. With the Kaafi Feels Bro! campaign, we aim to connect with our audience in their lingo, which to them signifies the range of exciting content,” Gangane added.

Viu also plans to enter the Tamil market in the near future. As Vuclip Inc, senior director, head of content India, Manasi Sapre said, “After creating a strong base in Telugu, we will enter other markets like Tamil. Unlike Telugu, Tamil is really a tough market to crack as it has its own way of doing things. It will take time to understand the Tamil industry, but we are looking forward to it.”

Besides Korean TV content, Viu also features international content from Egypt, Syrian, Khaleeji and Tunisian TV dramas. Users can also access classic movies and recent blockbusters, as well as curated music videos for over 6,000 songs from artists such as Nicole Saba, Amr Diab, Hassan El Shafei, Nancy Ajram, Ramy Sabrya and Maya Diab. Bollywood films, popular TV shows and music videos featuring Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone are also available on the OTT platform.

Viu is available in 15 markets including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and the Middle East countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Indian DTH