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Vodafone launches own OTT app to take on Reliance Jio

MUMBAI: The launch of Reliance Jio has laid the ground for a content war among the major telecom operators in India as they cobble together television channels, movies and other entertainment content to launch their over-the-top (OTT) apps.

Close on the heels of securing record foreign direct investment (FDI) from its parent company, Vodafone India has launched its OTT app Vodafone Play by aggregating content from other OTT services like ZEEL’s dittoTV, Hooq and Hungama Movies. The OTT app is free to all Vodafone customers until 31 December.

vodafone playVodafone Play brings together videos, movies, TV shows and music. It offers over 180 live TV channels, including popular film and entertainment channels Sony Pictures Networks India, Viacom18, TV18, ZEEL, Sun TV Network, TV9 network, B4U Television, TV Today Network, Times Network, in partnership with dittoTV.

It is pertinent to note that TV18 and its joint venture Viacom18 is owned by Mukesh Ambani.

Incidentally, Reliance Jio’s OTT service, Jio TV, offers over 368 TV channels, enabling it to match that of cable TV and DTH operators.

Vodafone’s app also offers 14,000+ movies including classics and blockbusters in several popular languages and a huge catalogue of video and music content across all genres in partnership with Hooq and Hungama Movies. The app has content in English, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese and Bengali.
The app will give users access to a host of videos and original digital content from Sony Liv and Arre.

It boasts 45,000 hours of movies from Hollywood, Bollywood and regional languages. It is available for download from Google Play and Apple App Store.

Vodafone Play will also have special content from live Ganpati celebrations to exclusive live telecast of ‘Vodafone Aagomoni’, the annual night-long musical extravaganza held in Kolkata on the eve of Mahalaya.

The app launch comes in the wake of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio announcing affordable 4G data bundled with free media apps and free voice. Ideal Cellular is also planning to launch its own range of digital services like Idea TV, Idea News and Magazines, Idea Music, Idea Chat, Idea Videos, Idea Games and Idea Storage. Airtel already owns movie and music streaming apps Wynk Movies and Wynk Music.

Vodafone Play is packed with features like ‘play’ and ‘pause’ on live TV, DVR capability, show timings display, show start reminders and responsive streaming of live TV channels.

Sandeep KatariaVodafone India director commercial Sandeep Kataria said, “People are increasingly watching more videos and listening to music on their smartphones. Instead of downloading multiple apps, all they need is to download and use Vodafone Play, which offers the best of content digitally for all their entertainment requirements. It is truly a single window to the world of entertainment with a rich portfolio of content across genres and languages. We will continue to enrich its portfolio by adding more quality content and features on Vodafone Play to make the consumer experience more enjoyable.”

The Vodafone Group recently got a capital infusion of Rs 47,700 crore ($7.2 billion) in its Indian unit, making it the largest FDI ever in India.

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