Zee5 plans to release 80 original shows this year across Indian languages

  • In an interview with Business Insider Zee5 CEO Tarun Katial reveals its growth plan for 2020.
  • Zee5 wants to become an ‘super app’ for entertainment and is planning to release over 80 new originals in 2020.
  • Zee5 Global also made its foray into Bangladesh.
India is all set to witness a tough battle in the over-crowded OTT space, this year. Netflix is all set to invest ₹300 crore on Indian content, while Prime Videos is also expected to double its investments. Hotstar too set aside at least ₹120 crore to make seven originals across languages.

India’s homegrown platform Zee5 however is playing the numbers game. “Zee5 has already invested in over 100 originals till date. But we believe that there’s a lot of room for regional content in this country. There are many stories to be told. Zee5 will do about 70-80 originals this coming year,” Zee5 CEO Tarun Katial told Business Insider India in an interview.

It has already roped in Bollywood actors l ike Karisma Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Arjun Rampal, Shruti Seth and TV actor Arjun Bijlani to star in upcoming shows like Mentalhood, Kaafir and Final Call.

Zee5 wants to capture millennials and other audiences who don’t watch TV but exclusively depend on streaming services for entertainment.

Original shows and exclusive movies
In addition to original shows, it is planning to produce 30-40 movies across languages which will be exclusively streamed on the platform. Katial says that Zee5 wants to be a ‘super app’ for entertainment.

At present, Zee5 has over 1,153 shows with 70 originals and 3,147 movies on its platforms. It also live streams all its 45 channels just like Hotstar.

Zee5 expects this strategy to bring in more subscribers. It expects to have 15 million daily active users and 100 million monthly users by March. It had around 8 million daily active users in December, and has been operational for two years.

OTT platform is not overcrowded, says Katiyal
In spite of the presence of many more platforms like SunNxt, Voot, SonyLiv and many more, Katiyal believes that the Indian OTT market isn’t overcrowded. “While there are a lot of OTT platforms in India, it finally comes down to those OTT players who have enough content to play this out,” he said.

A large base of content can be provided by platforms that have been in the television business. “Broadcasters eventually have a meaningful edge in this business because of their ability to reuse their content and their legacy of having built years and years of content is far better than anybody else,” he said.

Going Global
With strong roots in regional content, Zee5 is all set to take its battle with Netflix, Prime Videos in the international markets as well. In fact, they are using the same success mantra — local content to local audiences.

Zee5 already marked its debut in Bangladesh with two shows in their library. “Our brand marketing spend in Bangladesh this quarter is approximately 70% of the overall spend in Asia-Pacific,” said Archana Anand, chief business officer at Zee5 Global.

See also:
Netflix is losing to homegrown OTT players in India — as the country remains addicted to soaps and movies
Indian OTT platforms ALTBalaji and Zee5 team up to take on Hotstar, Netflix and Amazon Prime

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