Nisha Qureshi

How is Zee5 focusing on growing organically on the back of quality content

Manish Kalra, chief business officer, ZEE5 India and Nimisha Pandey, chief content officer – Hindi originals, ZEE5 talk about the platforms content and growth strategy.

Zee5 recently unveiled an extensive content slate  with a line-up of 111+ titles. According to the platform, the move is in line with Zee5’s aim of getting the audience ‘hooked to Zee5’. 

Speaking about the platform’s growth strategy, Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India says they want to play to their strengths which lies in catering to India and its various languages. 

"We want to leverage our understanding of India and be the first movers. The goal for us as a platform in this high growth industry, is to grow significantly higher than the industry. We want to double down on acquiring users and getting more and more subscribers to pay for the content. That will happen only when the content is good quality and meets the expectations.” 

Asked what is his take on the growing competition in the OTT space with players like JioCinema also trying to acquire the ‘Bharat’ audience, Kalra says the OTT industry is on a growth trajectory and compared it to the e-commerce industry and its state a few years ago. 

“It's an upcoming digital industry where everybody is wanting a pie. If you were to look at what e-commerce was 8 years ago, we are in that early stage of investments and everyone is trying to expand the market. For me, a bigger player offering some content free of cost will only expand the market and will expose more people to online streaming. Once the consumer realises the value of our content they will be willing to pay for it and sample it. It is all in good spirit,” he says. 

According to Kalra, while cost- acquiring consumers is a challenge in the OTT space, they are focusing on their content to drive the growth and pull in users organically. 

“To me good content is an ad, if your content is good it will spread and the cost of acquiring new customers will go down. A good balance is when you are able to create good content as well as ensure it has the power to drive people towards it. Yes, cost of acquisition is a barrier and how we  control it is that we consistently are able to bring in good content. The better we grow, the better is the cost of acquisition and that is what we are aiming at.”

Content strategy  

The new line up has a special focus on regional content with titles in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bangla, Punjabi and Marathi. According to the platform, the aim is to  democratise access to quality entertainment.

The platform is leveraging Zee Network's expertise and experince in driving growth for regional content. Speaking about the platform’s content strategy, Nimisha Pandey, chief content cfficer – Hindi originals, ZEE5 says that unlike television, OTT doesn’t have the number pressure hence, they focus on making content that can appeal to different cohorts. 

“What we are trying to do is to cater to as many taste clusters. What we are not trying to do is make one show that will appeal to everybody.  I think it is not creatively possible for everyone to like everything. OTT does not give you that pressure so don’t take that pressure,” says Pandey. 

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