afaqs! news bureau

ZEE5 forays into Punjabi content; Aims to address 3 crore Indians speaking the language

Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India, says, "The content offerings in the local Punjabi language aren’t as diverse as a crucial market like Punjab deserves."

Digital video streaming platform, ZEE5 has announced that it intends to strengthen its footprint in Punjab and neighbouring areas of Northern India by foraying into Punjabi content. Leveraging the library that ZEE as a network offers, ZEE5 will initially stream of a series of Punjabi movies.

Manish Kalra, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 India informs, the platform will add web series, originals and shows to the portfolio of Punjabi content. 'Straight-from-the-theatre' titles from Zee Studios – Puaada, Qismat 2, Jinne Jamme Saare Nikamme, and Fufad Ji, - "Stories from Punjab’s heartland," will be a part of the all-inclusive annual subscription plan priced at Rs 499.

Karla says he has his eyes set on "3 crore plus Punjabi native speakers". Also, according to him, Punjabi content in ZEE5 can trigger the community living in the US, Canada and other countries outside India to subscribe to the service. Punjabi has a significant overlap in Hindi which Kalra feels will help ZEE5 retain the subscribers and keep them engaged. If and when the subscribers run out of Punjabi content, they can sample the wide library of Hindi content already available on the platform.

Zee will invest in talent across Punjab to create stories out of that market. Punjabi Movie, Puaada's Global Box Office collections after three weeks is around Rs 17 crore. Kalra uses this as an example to explain the opportunities that Punjabi content provides. 'Puaada' was the first Punjabi film released worldwide post-2019 March.

Manish Kalra
Manish Kalra

"We have continued our efforts to keep the audience entertained across various cohorts and demographics to achieve deeper regionalization and penetrate into Bharat. Punjab, today, boasts of over 70 per cent plus internet penetration, a telecom infrastructure density that ranks third in the country, with one of the highest GDPs and per capita incomes in India," says Kalra.

Adding, "Despite this, the content offerings in the local Punjabi language aren’t as diverse as a crucial market like Punjab deserves. As a result, while intent among the audience is high, the availability of options is low, which is precisely what ZEE5 wants to address."

ZEE5 now streams content across 12 languages - English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and Punjabi. It claims to be the "home" to over 2 lakh hours of on-demand content and more than 100 live TV channels.