ZEE5 sees a 60% uptick in subscription globally due to the COVID-19 lockdown
The platform’s focus this year is going to be on expanding across geographies.

ZEE5 sees a 60% uptick in subscription globally due to the COVID-19 lockdown

The platform’s focus this year is going to be on expanding across geographies.
  • As countries across the world continue to grapple with COVID-19, ZEE5 Global, which is present in 190 countries, sees a 60% surge in subscriptions and 20% growth in viewership in all markets.
  • The platform’s focus this year is going to be on expanding across geographies, localization and strengthening its content strategy.
  • Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global further shares the growth plan, which are the key markets for ZEE5 global, and its retention strategy once the lockdown is lifted.
As most countries across the globe continue being under lockdown, viewers are turning to OTT platforms to stay entertained and escape from the much scarier reality. ZEE5 Global has also seen a 60% uptick in the number of subscribers globally and a 20% growth in viewership in the past month due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Sharing the reasons behind this growth, Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global said, “We have seen a huge uptake in traffic and engagement on the platform especially in markets like the Middle East and Canada and our premium originals are a key driver. The growth in subscriptions is also on the back of a highly attractive offer we have rolled out on our annual pack. Apart from that, since the schools are closed, outdoor activities have been restricted and families are reliant on e-learning and online entertainment platforms to keep their kids busy. We have seen a nearly 80% jump in viewership of kids content over the period.”

Anand is hopeful that the platform will continue seeing this growth across the countries it is present in, until the end of June.

In addition to a rising demand for originals, ZEE5 has seen a 3X spike in viewership and watch time for movies as compared to early March.

“The APAC region is where we have seen the highest traction for movies, especially in Bangladesh where the viewership has gone up almost 5X times over the previous month,” shared Anand.

ZEE5 was launched in India back in February 2018 in 12 local languages. Later in October 2018, to cast its net wider, it was subsequently made available in 190 countries and territories—without any additional languages—to cater to the Indian diaspora market. Now, its focus is going to be on localization and making ZEE5 the mainstream player in a few markets, Bangladesh being the first on its list.

“Our priority in Phase 1 of our global expansion has been to take our extensive content catalogue to the 40 Million South Asians scattered around the world who love Indian shows and movies, and make ZEE5 a household name for people across the globe. This year we will also focus on taking ZEE5 mainstream in specific markets. We further want to move beyond targeting just the South Asian audiences and create engaging content and storytelling for mainstream audiences. Bangladesh is one key market that we will be rolling out various localization initiatives in. We’ll share more details of this in the coming months,” says Anand.

ZEE5 had planned to launch two local Bangladeshi Originals. However, due to the lockdown, it had to postpone the production of the show.

Telling us what Anand had planned for Bangladesh before the outbreak of coronavirus, she said, “In Bangladesh, we unfortunately have had to push out one of our key initiatives, our Talent Hunt and postpone the shoot of the local Originals we had announced. We, however, hope to get both back on track soon, once the situation normalizes. We will continue to invest in technology to drive deeper personalization and improvements in the user experience for global markets through user interface changes and more. We also have various business partnerships with telcos and other ecosystem players in the pipeline waiting to be rolled out, and this will be done over the next several weeks.”

In the past few weeks due to the nationwide lockdown, ZEE5 has seen a significant increase in viewership of content across multiple categories and genres. TV shows like Guddan - Tumse Na Ho Payega, Tujhse Hai Raabta, Sembaruthi and Kumkum Bhagya are among the most watched content. Apart from this, movies like Uri: The Surgical Strike, Shukranu, Dream Girl, etc are also driving a strong uptake in this category. It is also seeing a strong demand for ZEE5 Originals.

However, after we resume normalcy, the challenge for ZEE5 will be to retain its users. And to do that, the platform will continue engaging with people through a constant flow of good content and storytelling across languages. It will also focus on personalization and improving user experience.

Anand also said that she hopes to resume the productions and plans for on-ground initiatives once the situation normalizes.