Interviews, Special Reports

HOT 100 – OTT – Rajiv Vaidya CEO, Spuul India

Rajiv Vaidya believes the magic words to keep users coming back to Spuul is ‘content, content and content’. This April, it signed a deal with Shemaroo Entertainment to create a larger catalogue library. This is in addition to the existing relationships it has with leading production houses like YRF Studios, Balaji Telefilms, Disney India, UTV Networks, Venus, Reliance Entertainment, besides independent content owners.

This heterogeneous alliance ensures that it has around 1,000 movies on its platform to cater to 12 million-odd users. Spuul opted for the freemium model, though banner ads or pre-roll ads do not appear before the start of a video. Last October, it shifted its revenue model by reducing advertisements and focusing more on subscriptions, which Vaidya claimed contributed substantially to its income.

Aware that Indians always get super excited about watching the latest Bollywood hits, Spuul launched blockbusters like Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Fan closer to their release dates on its platform. The resultant performance of surpassed Vaidya’s expectations. Another major learning last year was to focus on indie movies, which attracted good attention on the platform.

Vaidya also realised that technology could give Spuul an upper hand in a bandwidth-challenged country. Hence, it introduced mini-renditions of movies that could be downloaded under 60 MB on mobile devices.

Currently, Spuul has partnered with major Indian telecom players, allowing users to pay through their postpaid or prepaid accounts. Last year, it also introduced ‘Sachet Pricing’ – smaller packs of INR 30 for five days of unlimited streaming, which clicked well with users.

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