Home >Industry >Media >Amid TikTok ban, OTT platform Zee5 looks to capitalise on short video with HiPi
HiPi will compete against video streaming platforms like Roposo and Chingari (REUTERS)
HiPi will compete against video streaming platforms like Roposo and Chingari (REUTERS)

Amid TikTok ban, OTT platform Zee5 looks to capitalise on short video with HiPi

With HiPi, Zee5 now has OTT, gaming and short video as part of the same platform

With the government banning short video platform TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, rival Indian apps have seen an overnight surge in new users. Amid such tailwinds, homegrown over-the-top (OTT) video platform Zee5 on Wednesday expanded its service by adding HiPi, a short-video service similar to TikTok.

With HiPi, Zee5 now has OTT, gaming and short video as part of the same platform.

While Zee5's entry into the short video space comes immediately after the ban on Chinese apps, Rajneel Kumar, Business Head - Expansion Projects and Head of Products, said the timing of the launch is only a coincidence. “This has been part of our strategy and development for a while. It’s not something that came up in a few months time," he said. “In the larger scheme of things we are just another player. I don’t think we depend on that as a core strategy. It is maybe an added data point for us to look at," he added.

“A lot of signals will be picked up from the users as they continue their journey, which is very different from what happens on a typical OTT platform," said Kumar.

According to Kumar, the platform will be able to pick up users’ interests around the type of content they consume, through the diverse offerings of the app. Zee5 will also look at how deeply a user is interested in a subject by looking at likes, shares and more. The company is also building a “self-serve platform" that allows advertisers to book the type of inventory they want. Zee5 is also building a mechanism for advertising on influencers on the platform. It will allow companies to ask for a particular type of content to be created for them and influencers can choose to pick it up.

HiPi will compete against video streaming platforms like Roposo and Chingari, which have been gaining steam, especially after the ban. The two platforms gained millions of new users in the short time since the ban. In fact, Roposo said it had garnered over 10 million new users in 12 hours since the Chinese apps were banned. Chingari had reached 3.5 million users yesterday, growing at 80,000 new users per hour.

“If you look at the digital evolution, video has been one of the biggest drivers of content consumption," said Kumar, explaining why Zee5 chose to enter the short-video space. “HiPi is another element of video, albeit for a shorter duration, which satisfies a completely different need for engagement or entertainment for the user," he added.

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