Zee takes OTT service Zee5 global

Zee Entertainment eyes South Asian diaspora in 190 countries with OTT platform, freemium models in Middle East markets
Zee entertainment, Zee5, Zee Middle East, South asians, Indian content, Bollywood, OTT content, Video on demand, Middle east OTT, Video streaming services Middle East

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Media and entertainment company Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) said on Wednesday that its digital entertainment platform ZEE5 has gone live in over 190 countries globally.  The entertainment giant had launched ZEE5 in India in February.

The company has soft launched ZEE5 in a beta stage across platforms and will offer viewers around the globe an entertainment offering with both 'on-demand' and 'Live TV' content across devices. An official launch event is expected to take place in 5-6 weeks and the company said they will announce international original productions within a few months.

Outlining the global strategy, Amit Goenka, chief executive officer, ZEE International and Z5 Global, said ZEE has always been at the forefront of bringing the best of Indian entertainment content to audiences around the world. He said the company will look to introduce ad-supported services in countries where the OTT experience is still new. 

For developed markets such as the US and UK, the service will be available as a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), while in a few markets of the Middle East and North Africa, there will be a freemium model, with a small subscription fee for originals and premium movies. Depending on the region, subscribers will have access to a library with over 100,000 hours of content at an introductory offer of $2-10 per month.

"With the launch of ZEE5 across 190 plus markets, we have moved into the next phase of our growth story. Launching ZEE5 globally rather than in a staggered manner has been a conscious move in order to capitalise on the tremendous following the brand has amassed over the years overseas. This new chapter further strengthens us as a media and entertainment behemoth and reiterates our claim to the India story with bringing to our audiences around the globe an unrivalled content offering using robust technology," said Goenka.

Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer- ZEE5 Global said, “With over 1,00,000 hours of content across genres and languages, ZEE5 is the singular platform that Indians and South Asians have been waiting for. 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.”

In related news concerning Zee operation in the Middle East, the regional head Mukund Cairae who was associated with Zee Entertainment for over 14 years has been roped in by India's largest DTH operator Dish TV. Dish TV has appointed Mukund Cairae as business head sports and exclusive content. A media industry veteran with over two decades of experience, Cairae was previously based in Dubai as Zee Entertainment (ZEEL) CEO for Middle East, North Africa and Asia Pacific. 

At Zee Entertainment, Cairae's tenure saw the Indian entertainment group post a 45% increase in revenue growth in the region, across ad sales, program sales and affiliate sales. He also led the rollout of ZEEL's OTT venture Zee5 in the Asia Pacific, as well as Zee Weyyak in the Middle East. Weyyak the video on demand service in Arabic was launched in 2017. The media veteran had been consistently recognized by Forbes Middle East as one of the top fifty Indian leaders in the region over the last five years.

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