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Zee New Media forays into the OTT segment with Ditto TV

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 01, 2012
The platform aims to offer TV channels and on-demand video content to consumers on their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, entertainment boxes and connected TVs.

Zee New Media, the digital arm of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), has launched India's first and only OTT (over-the-top) TV distribution platform.

Ditto TV

Called Ditto TV, the platform aims to offer TV channels and on-demand video content to consumers on their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, entertainment boxes and connected TVs.

Apart from India, Ditto TV will also be simultaneously available in the UK, UAE, Australia and New Zealand. The US launch will take place by the end of this quarter.

A channel-agnostic platform, Ditto TV has partnered with Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment Television), TV Today Network, BBC and ZEE to host a total of 21 channels for content to begin with. Zee New Media targets 100-channel availability on Ditto TV in the next nine months.

Punit Goenka

Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer, ZEEL, says, "Our partnership with other network channels will be based on revenue sharing. Meanwhile, Ditto TV's initial revenue generation will be driven by subscription. We intend to reach 1 million subscribers in the next one year and once the digital platforms start attracting at least 5 per cent of the total TV viewers, we will also look at tapping into ad revenue streams for the platform."

When quizzed on why Zee decided to launch Ditto TV, Goenka explains, "We have been systemically investing in our digital outreach and the OTT category presents a powerhouse of potential and adds a new dimension to Zee's business model."

According to Vishal Malhotra, business head, new media at ZEEL, Ditto TV offers versatility, both in terms of content as well as device and bandwidth compatibility. With the increasing number of smartphone users, Ditto TV is expected to allow subscribers access to premium content from across the world. "For partners (content owners, distributors, retail, OEMs and service providers), it will create unique revenue generation opportunities," he adds.

Ditto TV has partnered with Siemens Communication and Media Technology to develop a technology platform that will offer adaptive streaming. This technology will ensure optimal feed based on the available bandwidth strength and will allow users to select the feed based on their data connection, which includes 3G, Wi-Fi and fixed line broadband connections.

Ditto TV, as an application, is available on application stores such as Apple App Store, Android Market and BlackBerry Application World; Ditto TV's prepaid cards will be retailed at outlets such as Croma and Vijay Sales, with whom Ditto TV has entered a distribution alliance.

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