Zee Entertainment consolidates digital presence with streaming platform Z5

A photo of the ZEE5 launch (Photo: @ZEECorporate on Twitter)
Nearly six years after launching its first TV on the go service, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited has revamped its digital content offering under the Z5. The new service consolidates all of Zee’s digital offerings (Ditto TV and Ozee) under the new service, which has features like voice enabled search, language and originals in Hindi and regional languages.

Operating on a ‘freemium’ model, Z5 will provide some content – the catch up TV content (previously on Ozee) and library film content for free while originals, exclusive international shows and new movies will be available behind a paywall of Rs 150 a month. At this price point, Z5 competes with peers like Hotstar (Star India’s OTT platform; Rs 199 a month), but is slightly more expensive than other players like HOOQ (Rs 89 a month), Viu (Rs 99 a month) and Amazon Prime video (Rs 999 per year). Netflix continues to be the sole player in the premium category at Rs 500-800 a month.

“We started with the data we got through Ditto and Ozee and then tested audiences on a different hypothesis. One clear takeaway was that people want to view varied content in their language of choice. Hence Z5 will have content in 12 languages, with browsing enabled in 11 languages. Another feedback was that a lot of the new adapters of OTT may not be so tech-savvy or fluent in English. This is where the intuitive voice-enabled search comes in,” said Amit Goenka, CEO – ZEE International and Z5 Global.

Last year, Zee MD and CEO Punit Goenka had projected that the network is eyeing 3 billion viewers globally, and that he expects nearly 80 per cent of the new viewers (the network currently has 1.3 billion viewers globally) will come from digital. In line with this vision, Z5 will be a global offering but will be adapted according to the operating dynamics of each territory. For example, Z5 operates an ad-supported OTT service in the UAE called Weyyak. While it’s the same company, the product is slightly different, keeping in the mind the landscape of the OTT business in that territory.

“The launch of Z5 further strengthens us as a Media & Entertainment powerhouse. A blend of unrivalled content offering and robust technology is the foundation of this all-new digital offering from our end. We have invested immense amount of time and energy in creating and acquiring rich and engaging content for Z5, which I’m sure will be cherished by our viewers across the nation and worldwide,” said Punit Goenka.

Z5’s library will include 100,000 hours of On Demand content, including exclusive Originals, Indian and International Movies and TV Shows, Music, and Health and Lifestyle videos across languages. It also has an extensive Live TV offering with 90+ popular Live TV channels.

Viewers can watch content across genres in any of 12 languages: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. In a first for any OTT platform in India, and driven by the changing profile of the Indian digital consumer, viewers can also choose their preferred display language from among 11 languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi.

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