“This is the best time for anyone to be a part of the industry, irrespective of the profession,” asserted Mohit Raina when he was waiting for the release of his debut digital drama Kaafir. A similar sentiment echoed through several more interviews I conducted in 2019 for various ZEE5 Originals including Skyfire, Karenjit Kaur: The Untold Story, Posham Pa, Barot House, Jamai 2.0 to name a few. To give you a gist of it, the OTT space in India is witnessing a rapid growth, thereby also contributing to a paradigm shift in the content being offered. With 8.9 million daily active users, ZEE5, India’s largest ConTech OTT platform, has emerged as one of the dominant players in the game.
Bagging top honours at coveted and prestigious awards shows across different categories, ZEE5 as a platform and its originals have won 27 awards in a year including ‘Best Debut,’ ‘Best Short Film,’ ‘Best Film’ amongst many more. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that viewers are consuming content like honey because ZEE5 has been consistently queuing up releases every month. So far, 80+ original series have been launched in 12 regional languages (Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Odia). 20+ original direct to digital films are already available on the platform and more are in the pipeline.
Moving on to the star bandwagon, top artists like Dia Mirza, Arjun Rampal, Kunal Kemmu, Adah Sharma, Krystle D’souza, Shabia Ahluwalia made a smashing digital debut with ZEE5 Originals. Dia even lifted the Best Actress in a Web Series (Jury) trophy at IWMBuzz Digital Awards 2019 while the Most Popular Actor in a Web Series (Popular) award was clinched by Arjun. Divyenndu Sharma took home the Best Actor in a Short Film (Editor’s Choice Awards) honour for his role in ZEE5 Original Fatafat.
Besides a variety pack of content and celebrities, ZEE5 boasts of a strong distribution game. ZEE5 is the only player after Prime Video to have partnership with all the major telcos. This gives a base of 300mn exclusive access to 100,000 hrs of content on ZEE5 across genres and 12 languages. It has entered into a partnership with Fire TV Stick, Samsung, LG, Mi and many more. All these and more carriers offer a never-ending content bucket, which is constantly being refilled if we may add. There are 200+ reality shows, 800+ shows, 4100+ movies available on ZEE5. The platform has a robust film library with a fantastic curation of films. From URI: The Surgical Strike, Dream Girl, Simmba, Sonchiriya, Kedarnath, PADMAN, Veere Di Wedding, Mulk, Parmanu, The Tashkent Files, The Accidental Prime Minister to Judgementall Hai Kya, Jabariya Jodi most recently, ZEE5 continues to present its viewers with a great Bollywood line-up of movies.
With the launch of KAiOS, ZEE5 attained a massive reach via JIO feature phone. It has partnered with 13+ tech disruptors from Israel that help deliver a world class hyper personalized experience for Segment of ONE and is also closely working with Google, Microsoft and AWS on various projects which are first of its kind. Moreover, the OTT platform has made an aggressive investment in technology by looking out for more disruptors from across the world.
Going forward, ZEE5 plans to reduce buffering by 50%, upgrade to a better UI/UX and increase the content load speed by 3x from what’s available as of date. Add to home screen, language personalization, auto preview and offline browsing options will also be added in the coming months.