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24 Jun 2024 18:11

Meet the Leader

Nadine Samra, VP digital business Middle East and Africa for Zee Entertainment

The digitization of the media industry has been driven by changing consumer behavior and expectations, especially among younger generations who demand instant access to content, anytime, anywhere and through different mediums. Its driven by the impatience of consumers for content. The digital content consumption will continue to grow as the consumer habits continue to change and the technology continues to evolve. We are witnessing an exciting time of media revolution and the rise of new type of content creators. Nowadays, everyone is a content creator, looking for the right platform to stream the content and get to the right demographics who are interested in viewing it.” Said Nadine Samra, VP digital business Middle East and Africa for Zee Entertainment.

In an interaction with MediAvataar MENA, Nadine, passionate about creating innovative digital experiences for mobile and web, shared what it takes to be a new age communicator and how Zee is acing the game when it comes to new media.

Here is the complete Q&A….

What made you believe that VOD is a money-spinning option for modern age broadcasters?

The consumer behavior, expectations and the technology advancements have changed the way viewers consume content. Nowadays, everyone wants to watch their favorite programming at their own pace, time and place. They want to binge watch and use different devices to continue watching their videos seamlessly and from where they stopped. In addition to that the advertising money is shifting from traditional ways into more targeted digitized advertising. Video on demand fulfills the audience needs of viewing what they choose at the time and place they want and provides a targeted advertising platform in case of AVOD or subscription revenues in case of SVOD and other models.

Whom are you targeting through this extension?

With the launch of Z5 Weyyak both on web through weyyak.com and Weyyak applications we are targeting the Arab audiences wherever they are. Looking in the near future to add a brand to cater for South Asian audiences in MENA and Africa.

What would be the content strategy for it?

Weyyak has a large library of content, around 7000 hours and increasing. The content varies from Arabic dramas to Hindi dubbed series and movies. We come with a unique proposition for our audience as we get exclusive Hindi titles, dubbed into Arabic specifically for Weyyak. Many titles are being introduced to the audience through our platform and has not been previously viewed by them through any TV channel or digital platform. 

Will there be any exclusive content?

This is one of our main content strategies and competitive advantage. We are planning to introduce many exclusive titles to be seen for the first time through our platform. During Ramadan we have introduced 4 exclusive dramas such as Fidya Season 2, Fil Entizar, Qadary W Nasibi, and Dayman Aal Bal. All of these dramas are Hindi dubbed into Arabic.

Do you think that MENA region is ready for this?

The digital viewing habits in MENA is increasing exponentially. The market has already seen several successful platforms for video on demand and the region is still thriving for more platforms and content. 

How do you look at the competition in this space?

The market recently have seen lots of VOD platforms entering the space and there are announcements about more launching this year. This creates a lot of options for the viewers and increases the competition between providers to attract the eyeballs. In my opinion, this is very healthy as it encourages everyone to continue working to enhance their services and look for unique features, content and competitive advantages.

How do you plan to market this proposition?

Our marketing strategy spans across many models, focusing mainly on online campaigns and influencers. In addition to our strong TV presence in the region, which we leverage to increase our brand awareness. Weyyak is also a catch-up service for our Zee Alwan and Aflam TV channels. Our TV audiences can find their favorite shows missed episodes online after it has been aired on TV.

“It is indeed an exciting time in the digital age content consumption.” Your thoughts?

Absolutely, the digitization of the media industry has been driven by changing consumer behavior and expectations, especially among younger generations who demand instant access to content, anytime, anywhere and through different mediums. Its driven by the impatience of consumers for content. The digital content consumption will continue to grow as the consumer habits continue to change and the technology continues to evolve. We are witnessing an exciting time of media revolution and the rise of new type of content creators. Nowadays, everyone is a content creator, looking for the right platform to stream the content and get to the right demographics who are interested in viewing it.

What would be the next step for Zee network when it comes to harnessing the wide spread digital arena?

I believe that the sky is the limit in digital media. There is literally no limit to creativity and business opportunities. At the same time it is very challenging as it is a very dynamic field were plans, products, technology and businesses change over night. In Zee, we work in a very creative and agile environment and we are ready to lead the industry in digital media and Entertainment.   

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