“‘Language’ is the core proposition of ZEE5 which is embodied across the entire content and user experience of ZEE5. The platform offers its viewers around the globe a completely integrated entertainment experience across 12 languages and 11 display language personalisation options.” Explained Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global.
In an interaction with MediAvataar India, Archana shared about the newest OTT platform on the block and how it will resonate with people who are ‘Dil Se Desi’.
Here is the complete Q&A…..
MediAvataar: Tell us about ZEE5.
Archana: ZEE5 is Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited’s digital entertainment platform. We launched in India in February 2018 and soft launched across 190+ countries globally last month in October. With this launch we are the first Indian entertainment company to have an OTT available at this scale globally, after Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
ZEE5 is a completely integrated entertainment offering, with both On-demand and Live TV channels. We have over 1,00,000 hours of content available for our global audiences across various genres like Indian Movies and TV Shows, Cine plays, Music, and Health and Lifestyle videos etc. along with a slew of exclusive Originals. All this content is across 12 languages: English, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. With this range, we offer the largest width and depth of multi-genre content available in a single destination.
ZEE5 is available across multiple platforms-across Android and iOS phones. web, specific Smart TVs, Android TV, Apple TV.
MediAvataar: What was the key purpose behind launching this platform?
Archana: As a global content company, we need to be where our viewers are. With increased penetration of smartphones and improvements in internet infrastructure, more and more people are watching content online and on-the-go, and we needed to ensure that our viewers had access to our content anytime, anywhere.
We also saw a definite need-gap in the OTT space for strong language content. As more and more people come online, they increasingly want to watch content in the language of their comfort, and there is a clear dearth of this, which ZEE5 fills perfectly.
MediAvataar: What is it’s USP?
Archana: ‘Language’ is the core proposition of ZEE5 which is embodied across the entire content and user experience of ZEE5. The platform offers its viewers around the globe a completely integrated entertainment experience across 12 languages and 11 display language personalisation options. We have multi genre content available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. Not just that; on ZEE5 a user can also customize his navigation language, choosing from among 11 languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi.
It also offers various additional user-friendly features like voice search, download to watch offline option, HD Quality video, adaptive bit rate streaming etc.
MediAvataar: Which are the key markets you are looking at initially and share the expansion plan?
Archana: In the first phase we are focusing on the South Asian diaspora across the globe as our language content is perfectly relevant to them. APAC, MENA and Africa are where we’ve rolled out our TVC right now, and we will soon launch this in Europe and Canada and Caribbean too.
MediAvataar: How do you look at the competition in this digitally dense era?
Archana: It’s really about how relevant you are to consumers and how distinctly you’ve been able to create a positioning for yourself, where the consumer considers you as the go-to destination for a particular proposition. If you’ve been able to clearly create this distinct positioning with the consumer, then it really doesn’t matter whether you have one competitor or a hundred.
MediAvataar: How do you plan to position ZEE5 on a global platform?
Archana: ZEE5 will clearly be the go to destination for language content. With over 100,000 hours of content across genres and languages, ZEE5 is the singular platform that’s tailor made for Indians and South Asians and beyond, around the world. With the launch of ZEE5 globally, we intend to own the India peg completely and be the unequivocal go to destination for Indian content for South Asians and beyond, wherever they may be. We offer content across 12 languages today and this is just the start. Over the next few months, we will be launching a significant amount of dubbed content in non-Indian languages also and will also create original content for local markets abroad.
MediAvataar: Throw some light on the ‘Dil Se Desi’ campaign.
Archana: Both ‘Dil Se Desi’ and the ZEE5 India launch campaign (which was rolled out in February 2018), ‘Apni Bhasha Mein Feel Hai’ actually have their genesis in the same insight; that Indians and South Asians today, irrespective of where they live or how globally connected they are, are fundamentally rooted in their culture and feel a strong sense of pride and belonging. Being ‘Desi’ today has moved from being just cool to becoming an intrinsic part of one’s identity
Given that digital is such a youth centric platform, our campaign plays on how traditions and cultural symbols have been adopted and adapted by the youth today – i.e. a henna tattoo replaces the traditional mehndi; payals get paired with sleek stilettos.
‘Dil Se Desi’ is therefore a contemporary blend of tradition and modernity that perfectly blends our audience’s current state of being with the connect back to their home, culture and tradition, thus building a strong resonance and emotional quotient with the brand
This emotion and connect to our roots and culture is celebrated in our campaign, and is further captured in the creative rendition #♥Desi be.
MediAvataar: What made you come up with the concept?
Archana: As we were launching in international markets we wanted to create a campaign that resonated with not just every Indian but every South Asian around the world including audiences living in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh; one that would extend the ZEE5 identity to a global audience.
Dil Se Desi was Inspired by the insight that South Asians across the board are referred to as ‘Desi’ and wear that tag as a badge of honour. The South Asian diaspora remains hugely connected to and are proud of their roots, embodied in their culture and traditions, their language and their entertainment. With the tremendous love for desi content across the globe, the campaign speaks to the South Asian diaspora as a whole, and not just Indians living overseas.
MediAvataar: What was the messaging you had in mind while implementing the campaign?
Archana: ‘Dil Se Desi’ and the ZEE5 India launch campaign (which was rolled out in February 2018), ‘Apni Bhasha Mein Feel Hai’ have their genesis in the same insight; that Indians and South Asians today, irrespective of where they live or how globally connected they are, are fundamentally rooted in their culture and feel a strong sense of pride and belonging. For South Asians around the globe Being ‘Desi’ today has moved from being just cool to being an intrinsic part of one’s identity. The campaign taps into the emotion which not only embraces this desiness but celebrates it.
MediAvataar: What’s to expect from the Platform in the coming time frame?
Archana: We will very soon be going live with ‘Dil Se Desi’ in Europe as well as in Canada and the Caribbean, marking our official entry in these markets. We have a line-up of some really interesting original content as well as several blockbuster films. On the business front, we have recently announced a strategic partnership with NetRange for their line of smart TVs. We’ve also got a lot of really strong partnerships in the pipeline and these will be announced over the next several weeks. These partnerships are across IPTVs, Telecoms and OEMs. So lots of exciting news coming up!