Vuclip Appoints Vishal Maheshwari to Head Indian Operations

To Leverage the Ex-Yahoo! India Director’s Experience in Mobile Internet and Indian Consumer Engagement for the Launch of New OTT Video Streaming Service in India

Vuclip, the leading premium video on demand (VOD) service for emerging markets, has today announced the appointment of Vishal Maheshwari as the Country Manager in India. This comes at a time when Vuclip is on course to launch its new Over-The-Top (OTT) video streaming service in India.

Vishal’s core responsibilities will include driving consumer adoption, engagement and monetization for this service in India through strategic partnerships, service innovation and consumer insights. He joins Vuclip with over fifteen years of leadership experience in the telecom and mobile internet space with organizations such as Yahoo! India and BPL Mobile, and ten years of product and brand management experience at Parle, Warner Lambert and SBI Cards.

“We are excited for Indian consumers in 2016 to experience a whole new way of entertainment on the go and pleased to have Vishal come on-board to lead our OTT service in India,” said Arun Prakash, COO, Vuclip. “With India in digital overdrive, creative thinking, fleet-footedness and focused execution are required to win over consumers’ hearts, minds and devices. Vishal’s leadership, consumer centric thought process, passion for product and brand, and value creation for partners will lead Vuclip and this entire industry in India.”

“The ever evolving video space in India offers the thrill of a challenge,” said Vishal. “It is my endeavour to make 2016 a year of delight for the Indian audience in the entertainment and OTT space. I believe Vuclip is best positioned to make that happen.”

Vuclip has a free user base of 20 million and a paying subscriber base in excess of 5 million people in India. The imminent launch of its OTT video on demand (VOD) service is aimed to redefine the way entertainment is consumed in the country.

Content Freshness and Video Quality important for Indian Viewers: Vuclip

The Global Video Insights report for 2015 released by Vuclip compares video consumption behavior of Indians with those in developed markets

Vuclip, the leading premium mobile video on demand (VOD) service for emerging markets, today released its Global Video Insights Report for the year 2015, comparing developing markets such as India with developed markets in terms video consumption behaviour of users. The insights are a result of a comprehensive online survey of 4600 users across six developing (India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, UAE and Philippines) and four developed (USA, UK, Singapore and Australia) markets.

The survey insights fall under the four broad categories of OTT VOD service features that viewers consider important, device preference, types of video content consumed and video consumption behavior in terms of preference to stream or download.

OTT VOD Service Features that Viewers Consider Important:

· Freshness of content (65%) as well as variety in content catalogue considered most important by Indian viewers.

· Indian viewers lay greater emphasis on video quality (30%) as against those in developed nations (23%).

· 23% of viewers in India view buffering as a key inhibitor to video consumption on smartphones. Hence they have indicated their preference for OTT VOD services which deliver on the promise of providing them an unbuffered viewing experience.

· While the need to have a smooth user interface is important across all markets, Indian viewers have shown unique preferences for features that help them download videos (56%) and that give them the autonomy to select video streaming quality (52%).

Device Preference for Video Consumption:

• Smartphones are the most preferred device for personal video consumption in both the markets, while PC/ laptops are used more for video viewing with family and friends in India.

• Viewers across markets are showing an increased preference to consume video content on smartphones with larger screen sizes. The majority of the mobile video viewing in developed markets takes place on smartphones in the five inches+ category while in India, this happens on smaller devices, typically in the 4.6 -5 inches range.

• The proportion of smartphone and PC/Laptop owners watching videos on these devices (55% for both) in India is slightly above that of developed markets (52% and 50% respectively).

• Frequency of viewing television in India is significantly higher than in developed nations with 87% respondents choosing the TV as a preferred device for entertainment with family members as against 72% in developed markets.

Type of Video Content Consumed Across Devices:

• 91% viewers who participated in the survey indicated that in addition to live broadcast, they preferred the television for long form consumption such as films and videos with run time of more than ten minutes. Only 33% of smartphone users in India use the device to view such content.

• 85% viewers in India consume short form video content (run time of under ten minutes) on smartphones as against 71% on laptops. User generated content (UGC) is consumed more on smartphones (28%) than on laptops (20%).

• Comedy is a universal favorite across developed and developing markets with nearly 60% viewers showing their preference to consume videos in this genre.

Video Consumption Behavior:

• Unlike developed markets wherein usage of WiFi and mobile networks for accessing mobile internet is proportionate (51% and 49% respectively), mobile network usage is significantly higher (65%) in India. This can be attributed to lesser number of free WiFi zones. This is the reason why video consumption while travelling is considerably higher in India (56%) as compared to developed nations (46%).

• Conversely, propensity to stream videos is much higher in developed nations as compared to developing nations such as India owing to better network connectivity. In India, laptops are used both to stream (30%) and download (70%) while smartphones are largely preferred for streaming (65%) only on account of limited storage space. Streaming over a WiFi connection is however the most preferred on account of a better viewing experience.

• Downloads via torrent are dominant in India as compared to download through other subscription based websites. Propensity to purchase videos is significantly higher in developed nations (52%) compared to India (23%).

• One third of the users in India remove the downloaded content the same day they view it indicating the prevalence of ‘Pseudo streaming’ on account of limited storage space.

Commenting on the release of the report, Arun Prakash, COO, Vuclip said, “With more than eight years of video consumption data, we at Vuclip have always used consumer insights such as these to convert data into viewer delight. It is real time data backed insights that help us to know what our audience wants and enables us to be able to effectively exceed consumer expectations whether it be with content, service features or user experience. 2016 will see Vuclip introduce an exciting and innovative way India can consume entertainment.”

Methodology

The data for preparing the Vuclip Global Video Insights 2015 report was collected by conducting a comprehensive online survey of 4600 users across six developing (India, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, UAE and Philippines) and four developed (USA, UK, Singapore and Australia) nations. The participants for this study comprised of 18-35 years old smartphone internet users who viewed videos on their smartphones at least once a month. Additionally, geographic representation from different parts of each country was ensured for adequate coverage. Users were provided multiple-choice questions and had the option to opt out. No incentives were provided for responding.

WWE launches ‘Direct-To-Fans’ Mobile Service on Vuclip

Vuclip to stream WWE video clips to fans in India, Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia

Vuclip, the leading premium mobile video on demand [VOD] service for emerging markets, has today announced a partnership with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Ltd. to engage WWE fans in emerging markets of the world with video clips on their mobile phones. Through this partnership, Vuclip will make available WWE’s video clips on the Vuclip service in the markets of India, Africa, Middle East and South East Asia.

WWE is NYSE listed and the global leader in sports entertainment.

Via this arrangement, WWE fans can stream the following mix of video clips on their mobile devices: match highlights such as Slam of the Week from both RAW and Smackdown; The Vault, a flashback to a monumental match; WWE Classics from legends of the past; and WWE Countdown which shows favorite superstars and match moments.

Speaking about this new service, Nikhil Naik, Director, Head of Distribution, Vuclip said, “For more than three decades, WWE has been entertaining its fans across the world. With emerging markets such as India and Africa seen as ‘Mobile first’ markets, Vuclip will help pave the way for engaging WWE’s fan base in these countries along with deepening the engagement in the Middle Eastern and South East Asian markets. We are happy to offer WWE fans premium mobile entertainment in these markets.”

WWE programming is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 35 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. It hosts more than 300 live events annually and possesses 130,000 hours of content which is growing by 500 hours each year.

Tata Sky and YOU Broadband offering exciting broadband plans for VoD service

Tata Sky recently became the first DTH service provider in the country to offer VoD service powered by internet.

The set top box connects to the internet and the movies are downloaded on the STB for viewing.

Tata Sky has now announced a deal with YOU Broadband and the two companies are offering exclusive broadband plans for the users of VoD service on Tata Sky.

Two plans are available:

12 mbps
60 GB FUP
3 months validity
Rs. 1199
1 mbps post FUP speeds

12 mbps
20 GB FUP
1 month validity
Rs. 649
1 mbps post FUP speeds

These plans are pretty incredible as you can essentially get 1mbps unlimited for as little as Rs. 650.

Amazon Prime subscribers get free instant streaming service

Amazon Prime subscribers get free instant streaming service

Amazon has as rumored launched a free instant media streaming service to the paying subscribers of their Amazon Prime service.

The company claims that the subscribers of Amazon Prime now have access to around 5000 television shows and movies for no extra charge.

This feature works with third party devices as well!

Amazon Prime comes loaded with tons of other features and costs USD 80 per year. Amazon has just made it a very lucrative service to subscribe to!

Amazon rumored to be working on a Netflix challenger

Amazon rumored to be working on a Netflix challenger

Netflix is mostly known as a DVD rental service in the US market. But they are moving on with the times and are offering a streaming only package to customers who are not much interested in messing around with discs.

Amazon might soon become their latest challenger in this market. Hulu Plus is already there.

Amazon incidentally already has a Video on Demand platform where customers can order individual show or movie for viewing.

They are said to be working on a subscription based streaming service that could be offered to the subscribers of their Amazon Prime shipping service.

Amazon Prime shipping service currently costs around USD 80 per year and this new feature alone could make it a value for money deal.

Netflix offering streaming video service in Canada now

Netflix offering streaming video service in Canada now

Netflix has launched their first international service. They are now offering streaming video services in the Canadian market.

The company said that they have licensing deals in place with some of the largest names in the media industry including Lionsgate, MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, and Universal Pictures.

The service charges are around $7.99 a month which is slightly cheaper than what they charge in the US market.

Netflix streaming service is also available to customers in Canada on mobile devices like the Apple iPhone.

Amazon offering 99 cent episodes on sale!

Amazon offering 99 cent episodes on sale!

Amazon has announced that they are now offering content from Fox and ABC for just 99 cents per episode.

These are not rentals and the user gets to keep the episodes for ever.

These videos would be accessible through the company’s Amazon Video on Demand service.

Interestingly, the announcement comes on the same day as the launch of the new Apple TV.

Apple has announced 99 cent rentals for TV show episodes. So, Amazon is indeed offering a much better value for money deal.

However, Apple TV itself has become a pretty cool value for money deal now at just USD 99!

Netflix set to launch operations in Canada

Netflix set to launch operations in Canada

Netflix has announced that they would expand their operations to international markets by launching their services in Canada next.

The company is already one of the leading movie rental and streaming services in the US market.

They are likely to begin with online rentals in Canadian market later this year.

Netflix offer this service to their regular subscribers in the US market. So it would be a first for them to just offer an online service to customers.

The company said that they would begin with English language service initially. Support for French language would be added at a later stage.