Video Production

Exclusive Interview with Mr. Vishal Maheshwari – Vuclip Country Manager

Tell us something about your Company, Vuclip.

Vuclip is a leading video-on-demand (VOD) service provider for emerging India, South East Asia, and the Middle East, with 9 million subscribers per quarter. Headquartered in Milpitas, California, Vuclip and its subsidiaries have a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Dubai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Bangkok.

When we started in 2008, we focused on bringing video entertainment to the screens of feature phone users in emerging markets despite the challenges of patchy network connectivity and high data costs. We saw this as an opportunity to leverage our patented technology to deliver a seamless buffer-free video viewing experience across multiple mobile devices and networks. Our core offerings included the mobile site and the Vuclip Search App, which was downloadable on Android, Java, and Windows devices.

We have the distinction of bringing mobile video to the masses through strategic tie-ups with telecom carriers in these markets, such as Maxis, Telkomsel, AIS, Airtel, Vodafone, IDEA, and much more.

In March 2015, PCCW Media, a Hong Kong-based Media and Entertainment Group, acquired a majority stake in the company to the roll out of best in class over the top (OTT) video service – Viu in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and India. And very recently, in Indonesia. The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are countries where Viu will be launched by the end of this year.

We are today working towards our mission of entertaining a billion customers by forging strategic partnerships with over 270 top studios worldwide. To bring premium content regarding the latest movies, TV shows, and music videos in over 34 languages.

What is the future of Web Video Search?

Video discovery is critical to a great user experience and more significant engagement. It is more than just using the right descriptive words for the metadata. In the OTT VOD business, most of these would be celebrity names or names of films, TV shows, etc. What works out to be a differentiator would be suggestions of videos of the same actor or movies of the same genre for the viewer to consider based on their historical viewing patterns.

Thematic content – i.e., the collection of videos based on a particular theme- is something we offer for users of our OTT service – Viu. These, again, are curated based on our eight years of video consumption data.

As to what the future would hold, Video search on VOD platforms can become more intuitive. As a viewer, you may not want to watch an entire movie but choose to view only a particular scene. Imagine searching for that scene with dialogue as the keywords, and you took to that scene. Sounds exciting.

Don’t you expect shortly concerning Digital Media?

Let’s distilLet’sdown to the future of the OTT VOD industry since Vuclip belongs to that space:

• VOD platforms will become the end-to-end marketing channels for brands on account of enabling targeting of prospective consumers better. I say back to stop because they do not just serve as mediums for advertisements but can also facilitate the process of sales.

• 360-degree videos have just caught on, which provide viewers with an immersive viewing experience. The trailer of Conjuring 2 is a case in point.

• There will be a greater propensity to pay for video content in emerging markets if viewers see more excellent value in the content offering and the overall user experience than pirated video websites.

• Original content would play a key role in shaping the future of VOD players.

• The role of technology would stand all the more pronounced in being a service delivery differentiator. You may have the best content with you, but if the viewing experience is sub-par, retaining viewers’ interest would be a challenge.

Tell us something about Vuclip’s newVuclip’su”?

Viu “s t” OTT VOD service offered by Vuclip with a diverse catalog of over 42,000 hours of content, including Bollywood and Indian regional movies, music videos, and popular English serials. It also has ‘Viu Collect’ons’Collections’videos curated based on video consumption insights and Originals such as ‘What the Du’k,’ a cricket comedy chat show hosted by cricket humourist Vikram Sathaye.

Viu offers content in 25 different languages for Indian audiences and has forged partnerships with production houses and content owners to localize the content to cater to the taste of the Indian audience.

70% of the Rs. 100 Crore Club movies of Bollywood are on Viu. With more than 3000 hours of music videos in its catalog, Viu has the most extensive collection offered in India.

It is a freemium service with access to thousands of hours of free content and a premium portion that can subscribe for Rs. 99 monthly.

What sets it apart from the competing VOD players is the superior user experience of enhanced navigation, video search, celebrity trivia, and buffer-free viewing optimized across devices and networks.

It can be accessed on Android as well as iOS-based devices. Viewers can choose to stream videos in HD or SD and view videos offline through an ‘Offline Dow’load’ feature.

What are Video Consumption Trends Globally v/s those in emerging markets?

The Vuclip Global Video Insights Survey for 2015 has compared developing markets such as India with developed markets based on four broad categories: OTT VOD service features that viewers consider important, device preference, types of video content consumed, and video consumption behavior in terms of importance to stream or download.

Salient insights on how India differs from the developed markets are listed below:

• Indian viewers emphasize video quality more (30%) than those in developed nations (23%).

• Indian viewers have shown unique preferences for features that help them download videos (56%), giving them the autonomy to select video streaming quality (52%).

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

• Mobile network usage is significantly higher (65%) in India than in developed markets (49%). This can be attributed to the lesser number of free WiFi zones. Video consumption while traveling is higher in India (56%) as compared to developed nations (46%)

• The propensity to purchase videos is significantly higher in developed nations (52%) compared to India (23%).

How can users benefit from using Vuclip?

Vuclip believes in democratizing entertainment. We believe in joy for all and not just for the elite few. With our content localization strategy, we tailor our offerings to cater to the users’ tastes in each of our ten countries.

So, in a nutshell, users benefit from accessing fresh, diverse content in a language of their choice – delivering a great viewing experience.


Viu App: Google Play store, Apple AppStore

Thank you “Mr. Vishal “Maheshwari” for your v “valuable inputs and insights.

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