Anirban Roy Choudhury

Viu to shut India operations

Video-on-demand streaming platform-Viu has decided to discontinue its India operations. Owned by the Hong Kong-headquartered media group - PCCW, Viu had launched its India operation in 2016. So far in India, it commissioned 'Kaushiki', 'Memories', 'Love Lust and Confusion', 'Spotlight', multiple seasons of chat show 'What the Duck' among others.

A senior producer who made shows for the platform said that the news was broken to the employees earlier today. "They were told that their services are no longer required and they do not need to report to work from today onwards." The producer said that he could see this coming as the platform decided to opt-out of on-going projects. "Whenever we discussed sequels or new concept they got back to us saying everything is on hold. We have also seen them trimming their team. Head of content moved on, and so did many from the marketing team, whom we used to interact with on a regular basis," added the producer.

Melissa Sheridan, says, "Viu has gained tremendous traction achieving 36 million MAU across 17 markets over the last four years. In this span of time, Viu has emerged as one of the top leaders in OTT Industry in South East Asia, Middle East and South Africa. India is a large potential market, but also complex and challenging. While consumers in India are just starting their OTT journeys, the level of hype and investments in the market are extremely high with no current path to sustained monetization. Therefore, we are pausing on making additional investments in India. We are prioritizing our investments to South East Asia, Middle East and Africa to further secure our leadership and achieve rapid growth in a sustainable fashion."

Viu is available in 17 markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa. Last December, the organisation said it had over 30 million monthly active users.

Viu follows a freemium model where users can sample some content for free and the exclusive ones only after subscribing to an available plan.

Sources in the industry informed that a senior executive flew from San Fransisco earlier today and broke the news to all India employees.

Our mails to Viu, Country Head - India, Vishal Maheshwari and Vuclip's communication team did not fetch any response.

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