Viacom 18’s consumer products business is expanding its portfolio by entering into the smart phones, phablets (phone-cum-tablet) and tablet computers space, through a two-year licensing deal with Swipe Telecom.
The first product to come from the deal is a six-inch phablet, branded MTV Volt.
Sandeep Dahiya, senior vice president and business head - consumer products, Viacom 18, said, “The partnership with Swipe is an extension of our thought process to extend the engagement from a consumer’s perspective for the brand (MTV), across platforms and make it more interactive.”
Asked about the company’s progress in the consumer products business, he noted, “Between MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon, the revenue contribution is about Rs 250 crores, out of which MTV has a significant contribution. Five years back, we were at Rs 15 crores, so the growth has been phenomenal.”
MTV has a presence across consumer products categories from bikes to condoms and deos.
“Going forward, we will roll out products which are exciting for the youth. MTV Volt, our first offering is a new generation phablet. For an MTV fan, he or she can watch all the channel’s marquee shows, except music videos. You can play games, surf, use social media platforms, watch movies etc. All this just at Rs 12,999,”added Dahiya.
MTV and Swipe Telecom have signed a revenue sharing agreement, where the latter will be responsible to distribute and sell the products in India. MTV will handle the marketing and will take home certain percentage on sales.
On the marketing initiatives, Dahiya explained, “We’re going to aggressively market these products. The focus will be more on digital, but we will also look at other media such as TV, outdoor and print.”
Viacom 18 had earlier partnered Micromax to make MTV-branded phones. Dahiya explained, “We have worked with Micromax in the past (three years back) where we sold 2,30,000 pieces between two handsets. The partnership with Swipe is a slightly longer partnership and it is beyond mobiles.”
MTV Volt falls in the same category of Samsung Galaxy Note II, with a 6' screen and dual core processor. The intent is to introduce at least one new product every quarter. MTV Volt will be available across 10,000 retail points across India, Swipe e-store and online portals.