In a bid to revamp its digital presence, the Essel Group-owned Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited has recently launched a digital content offering named Z5. The newly introduced service has consolidated all the Zee’s previous digital offerings (Ditto TV and Ozee) under one umbrella. Z5 also has features like voice enabled search, language and originals in Hindi and other regional languages.

Z5 is supposed to operate on a ‘freemium’ model, under which it would provide some content – the TV catch ups previously provided through Ozee, and library film content – for free. On the other hand, the originals, exclusive international shows and new movies will be made 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.

ZEE International and Z5 Global CEO Amit Goenka said, “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.”

Zee MD and CEO Punit Goenka had projected last year that the network is aiming to achieve 3 billion viewers globally. Goenka also said that he expects nearly 80 per cent of the new viewers (the network currently has 1.3 billion viewers globally) will come from digital. Adhering to the CEO’s vision, Z5 will be made available globally, while adapting according to the operating dynamics of each 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 is expected to include approximately 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. Zee’s latest service also boasts of an extensive Live TV offering with 90+ popular Live TV channels.

According to Z5 CEO Amit Goenka, viewers can choose any of the 12 languages for watching content: English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. This would be a first for any OTT platform in India. Driven by the changing profile of the Indian digital consumer, Z5 also provides its viewers the option to 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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