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Voot partners Google to adopt progressive web app

MUMBAI: Voot, Viacom18’s ad-supported video-on-demand OTT service, has partnered Google to make its mobile website into a progressive web app (PWA) using features such as ‘add to home screen’ and a service worker. PWA allows reliable, fast and engaging experience for users on mobile web.

Voot launched its new UI first on mobile web, ahead of desktop web and native app. Within days of launch, the video watch time on mobile web increased 39% and is comparable to that of native apps. The improvements also had a significant positive impact on reducing load times, reducing abandonments and much better conversions.

Voot PWA includes offline page caching, fast loading, responsive interface and push notifications. The ‘add to home screen’ feature of PWA allows users to launch the page from their home screen like a native app and a service worker decreases load times.

Voot is an early adopter of this technology and it is only a matter of time before PWAs become the new standard for web interactions, just as responsive design has become the norm rather than an exception.

Despite the recent launch of 4G services, many users still access the internet via 2G and 3G networks, with slow and sometimes expensive data transfer rates. To reduce data transfer time, Voot has optimised its images specifically for mobile. The site now dynamically serves either JPEG or WebP images depending on browser capabilities, resulting in a seamless viewing experience.

These optimisations resulted in a 63% reduction in first-view page load data transfer and an 86% reduction in data transfer for returning visitors. Page loads became 5 times faster for first-time visitors, and almost 7 times faster for returning users.

Gaurav-Gandhi-interviewViacom18 Digital Ventures COO Gaurav Gandhi commented, “In this business, both content and technology have equal equity in realising the potential of our consumer proposition. While content is our domain expertise, to push the envelope in terms of technology, we continuously work with partners from around the world.

“We are delighted to work closely with Google to launch Voot on the PWA platform. This launch significantly enhances the experience for all Voot users on mobile browsers, and we believe this is a big step where users can have an equally rich experience of our service without downloading the app.”

“We have moved the needle very significantly when it comes to user experience on the mobile web by adopting PWA,” said Viacom18 Digital Ventures, head of product and technology, Rajneel Kumar.

Kumar further added, “All the time and effort we’ve spent on technology and UI changes as well as optimizations seem to be showing very positive results. We are going to continue to refine this further and we are confident that we will continue to see significant consumer lift.”

“We are delighted with the Voot implementation of a progressive web app. PWAs are well suited for India, where the mobile web allows publishers to reach a large audience across a highly diverse set of devices and bandwidth. The early numbers on performance are very encouraging, and demonstrate the potential of mobile web media distribution,” said Google product manager John Pallett.

Voot is available as both a native app and a mobile web app. It offers close to 35,000 hours of premium content including not only exclusive shows from the Viacom18 network channels like Colors and MTV, but also original series created for Voot. It also claims to be the largest online destination for kids’ content under its brand Voot Kids.