Voot’s Ferzad Palia On How Marketing Strategies Had To Completely Change Due To The Pandemic And More
The pandemic due to coronavirus hit us all and it hit us hard. But while we probably lost out on important movie dates on our calendars, the stake for insiders/makers was riding in crores. However, if there’s any machinery that has probably minted the moolah to get itself oiled, it’s the streamers. Of course, a few of them are raking in more subscriptions than the rest but it’s still the only viable medium as long as the fate of theatricals is hanging by a loose thread. Again, thanks to the lockdown. I’m not saying that they didn’t have to brainstorm about the way ahead but hey, at least they had a way ahead unlike the other market players.
We recently caught up with the head of VOOT Select and Viacom 18, Ferzad Palia and picked his brains about the shift, if any. When probed if there was any revenue loss that Voot saw during the pandemic, he said, “We launched Voot Select on March 2, so it’s very difficult to give you any comparison of how much have we grown in this period or not.”
But while that was that, he did highlight the influx in subscriptions and the timely modifications that there were tweaked in especially in devising their marketing strategy. After being pressed about the fact Voot did go ahead and premiere Illegal and Riker Case even before the whole chatter about OTT saving the day for films and shows like, Palia opened up about the different tactics that were incorporated during the pandemic.
Starting from the top about the things that did work, he said, “The good part is that all of the content was ready; it was edited, it was mastered, it was QC’d because we were pretty much into the launch. We launched with Asur and Marzi, even before things became clear that they did in the third week of March, we got a phenomenal response to the content. And that has really driven subscriptions for us. In addition to the good international content we have. Keep in mind, we also drop out TV network content 24 hours before it goes on television itself. So, there was fresh TV content–which was till the end of March—that saw a lot of traction as well. I think people had more time to check out a service like Voot Select. So, what we would have done otherwise over a period of many months, we were able to do it in the first 30 days.”
“(But) We had to completely change our marketing strategy because there was no outdoor involved and we had a significant outdoor plan. Print went off the table, you were pretty much left with digital and television. And that’s where we had to re-organize ourselves completely and use a lot more social media, a lot more of digital and TV of course continued as it.”
However, he concluded with, “It was a bit of a catalyst for people to come and sample a new service much quicker than we would have otherwise seen. It wouldn’t have worked as well if the content not appreciated. At the heart of it, it’s a content service!”
There are no two ways about the fact that we miss the good old charm of the movies, in the theatres but got to give it to the OTT platforms for rising up to the occasion and how!
Cover Image: Bhavya Poonia/Mashable India