ZEE5 launches South Asian add-ons for US subscribers | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  ZEE5 launches South Asian add-ons for US subscribers
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ZEE5 launches South Asian add-ons for US subscribers

The video streaming platform will have a single window for multiple entertainment apps

The ZEE5 Global Add-ons feature positions itself as a single window for US audiences to explore South Asian entertainment platforms, including Simply South (all South Indian languages), Oho Gujarati, Chaupal (Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Haryanvi), Namma Flix (Kannada), istream (Malayalam) and EPIC ON (Hindi). Premium
The ZEE5 Global Add-ons feature positions itself as a single window for US audiences to explore South Asian entertainment platforms, including Simply South (all South Indian languages), Oho Gujarati, Chaupal (Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Haryanvi), Namma Flix (Kannada), istream (Malayalam) and EPIC ON (Hindi).

New Delhi: ZEE5 Global, the video streaming platform owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd operating in over 190 countries, has launched its services as an aggregator in the US, offering subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services of south Asian origin within its app.

The ZEE5 Global Add-ons feature positions itself as a single window for US audiences to explore South Asian entertainment platforms, including Simply South (all South Indian languages), Oho Gujarati, Chaupal (Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Haryanvi), Namma Flix (Kannada), istream (Malayalam) and EPIC ON (Hindi). The add-ons come with prices starting from $1.49. Six more platforms are likely to be onboarded. However, users will need a ZEE5 subscription to purchase the add-on packs, and the billing process will consolidate all charges into a single bill at the end of the cycle, along the lines of Amazon’s Prime Video Channels launched in India in 2021, offering other streaming services on the app and the website.

“ZEE5 makes programming available in 12 languages, and we have data insight and an understanding of consumer preferences that give us the ability to cross-sell and up-sell content. It’s a challenging market for a niche player. In this case, we do the heavylifting with technology and distribution," said Archana Anand, chief business officer, ZEE5 Global.

According to Anand, the global streaming business is under stress, with the cost of content creation and customer acquisition hitting the roof. ZEE5 Global Add-ons will be available at prices lower than what the customer would have to pay if they were to directly subscribe for the services already operating in the US, she said. In fact, some platforms will stop direct services and only be available as part of ZEE5 Global’s Add-on packs. Anand said the customer acquisition cost for south Asian OTTs in the US is $90, but did not say whether the aggregator service will be in India. .

India is home to aggregator platforms such as Prime Video Channels, Tata Play, JioFiber and Airtel XStream Premium. Aggregators offer smaller platforms better reach and a larger subscriber base. Many over-the-top (OTT) platforms said they were focusing on content as aggregators take care of user experience and product. Aggregation also helps both reach out to a wider audience, and into new markets, besides increasing revenue and engagement, said experts.

Neeraj Sharma, managing director for communications, media and technology at Accenture India, in a recent interview had said the aggregation trend will grow due to changing consumer preferences and tough economics. “For consumers, bundling makes content discovery simpler, as they get more recommendations from platforms on a single service. As incremental cost of customer acquisition is rising, aggregators provide OTT platforms a faster monetization opportunity, and at scale. Aggregators will emerge and grow more prominent as they are crucial to resolving customer frustration around the broken viewing experience, and helping realize payoff on the cord cutting vision.“

Amit Goenka, president, digital businesses and platforms, ZEE Entertainment, said accessibility and affordability will be key.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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Published: 28 Nov 2023, 11:21 PM IST
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