Ahead of the popular Indian Premier League (IPL), Viacom18 will merge its premium OTT platform Voot and JioCinema and undergo rebranding, reports The Hindu Businessline citing sources close to the company.
For the unaware, JioCinema was launched under the Jio Platform and operated by Reliance Jio for its telecom customers and later in September last year, the Competition Comission of India (CCI) approved its merger with Viacom bringing both Voot and JioCinema under an umbrella.
Voot’s content lineup includes Viacom18’s television properties, some international shows, and originals with part of content behind the paywall through Voot Select. JioCinema, on the other hand, is an aggregator of content across several broadcasters and does not have any paid plan.
Currently, Voot only has a 2% market share in the streaming business while JioCinema being completely free has a reach to more customers. Viacom also entered the sports live-streaming market with free for all access to the Live FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on JioCinema which further boosted its user base.
IPL is a major sports event in India and has the capability of supporting an entire OTT platform alone due to its massive popularity in the country. Viacom18 acquired the digital rights for IPL 2023-27 for ₹20,500 crore and will likely complete the merger before IPL so that the new merged platform gets a head start in terms of subscribers.