Indian entertainment network Viacom18 is reportedly planning to create a new super app that will host its various digital streaming platforms, thus enabling it to take on the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Disney Hotstar and Netflix.
According to a report by the Economic Times, the super app would include Viacom18’s JioCinema and Voot applications. Viacom18 – owned by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Viacom – could also integrate content from partner companies like Eros International (Eros Now), and ALT Balaji to enhance the content offering on the super app.
In order to further sweeten the offering and make it more competitive, Viacom18 may also look at acquiring small niche apps.
Viacom18 has a sports angle
RIL is currently providing free live streaming of the FIFA World Cup 2022 exclusively on its JioCinema video streaming app, and may also look at hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricketing event next year.
Earlier this year, Viacom18 won the digital rights for the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Rs 50 crore ($6.17 million) per match, amounting to Rs 20,500 crore ($2.3 billion) for the five-year tenure.
The Viacom18 network bought the FIFA 2022 World Cup broadcast rights last year for an estimated Rs 450 crore ($55 million). The television broadcast for the tournament is via the network’s sports channel Sports18.
The report added that the exclusive streaming of the FIFA 2022 World Cup has resulted in a 30x jump in daily downloads for JioCinema, according to data from data.ai (formerly known as App Annie). JioCinema daily downloads crossed 1 million on eight occasions since November 9.
Other super app players
RIL-owned Jio Platforms, which is the parent company of Reliance Jio, already has a super app called MyJio, which features mini-apps spanning across music, healthcare, games, e-pharmacy, education, cloud and mobile banking.
Players like Paytm and Tata Group have also tried building super apps in India. Amazon has also been adding new features and services to its main shopping app.
In the entertainment space, Amazon Prime Video recently introduced the concept of ‘channels’, which houses content from different streaming apps on its platform. Apple TV + also has channels from other content providers such as Eros and Lionsgate.
Reliance Jio launched JioCinema in 2016 along with apps like JioTV, JioSaavn, JioNews, JioMart, JioMeet, JioChat and JioTalks. All these apps are now owned by Jio Platforms, while JioCinema was merged into Viacom18.