India-based entertainment conglomerate Viacom18 has launched VOOT Kids, the company’s first subscription app for children.
VOOT Kids targets children ages two to eight and is available for iOS and Android devices at US$1.39 per month (INR 99) and US$11 (INR 799) for a yearly subscription. The monthly offer includes a seven-day free trial, while the yearly package has a month-long free option.
The ad-free service provides a library of more than 15,000 episodes of animated series such as local Indian Nick shows Motu Patlu and Golmaal Jr., as well as international series like Peppa Pig, Pokémon, Ben 10 and PAW Patrol. The platform’s brand partners include Nickelodeon, Oxford University Press, Warner Media, Green Gold, CBeebies, TV Asahi, Sony Music, Hasbro, Mattel and Lego.
VOOT Kids also features more than 500 kids eBook titles from brands including Chhota Bheem, Dora The Explorer, Thumbelina, Masha & the Bear, Wheels on the Bus, Aladdin, Gulliver’s Travels, The Ugly Duckling, Jack and The Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.
In addition, 150-plus curated audio stories are available spanning Indian folktales to princess stories like Cinderella and Princess and the Frog. More than 5,000 educational games and quizzes are featured, too, covering areas such as language skills, math and creative expression.
For parents, a special zone lets them assess their child’s learning progress, set screen time limits, track content consumption and create up to four kid profiles each with their own viewing preferences, recommendations and settings.
The app follows Viacom18′s AVOD service VOOT for older audiences. It features more than 60,000 hours of exclusive original and acquired content and, to date, has generated more than 80 million monthly active users.
VOOT Kids arrives in a crowded Indian mobile streaming market and will compete with the likes of Netflix, Apple TV+ and Amazon. Whether or not Disney+ launches in the region as part of its international rollout remains to be seen.
Disney-owned streaming service Hotstar currently leads the Indian online content market with more than 300 million monthly active users, according to recent findings by Bangalore-based research and consulting firm RedSeer. Chinese social media streamer TikTok is fourth on the list at 129 million, while Amazon Prime and Netflix land at 13 million and 11 million, respectively.
To increase its user base in the region, Netflix introduced a low-priced mobile-only tier in July that costs US$2.80 (INR 199) per month. It’s also investing more in local original animated content. Mighty Little Bheem, its first original Indian kids series, was renewed for a third season in August. On the linear TV side, Nick India has been launching more originals, too. Bollywood spin-off Golmaal Jr. premiered in May on Nick’s Sonic kids channel for 10 to 13-year-olds.
Meanwhile, Viacom18′s strategy for developing exclusive original toons for VOOT Kids is yet to be revealed.