ZEE5 India CEO Tarun Katial throws light on eight key trends for 2020

Tarun Katial

1. Language content will continue to enjoy maximum consumption across India

An EY-FICCI report found that just seven percent of the total time spent on OTT platforms is spent on viewing English language content. In comparison, Hindi makes up for 63 percent, and other regional languages together count for 30 percent. The scope in the growth of Indian language content, therefore, is huge.

2. Hyper-personalisation for Segment of ONE

Content needs to be hyper-personalised to a Segment of ONE. AI/ML helps in better discovery of content, recommendation engine and identifying different cohorts/consumer taste clusters. This further helps us serve content in their preferred language and provide them with a seamless content viewing experience.

3. Original content in various languages

There are various taste clusters that we have identified across different languages. To satiate India’s appetite of entertainment, ZEE5 will continue to invest in churning out original content in various languages. We have so far released 100+ originals which makes us India’s largest producer of original content, across genres and in 12 languages.

4. Rise of connected devices

At ZEE5, we are bullish on content being consumed via connected devices/Smart TVs in the future, in addition to mobile devices. Brands like Xiaomi, Viu, Samsung, LG, SONY Bravia, One Plus and Onida are leading this change at the OEM level and Tata Sky, Airtel XStream, Dish TV at DTH/ISP level.

5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to play a vital role in discovery of content and personalising recommendation

Being a digital video platform, our entire roadmap focuses on how to offer users the best content seamlessly. It is critical to improvise user experience at the first touch point — when he opens the app. We are shifting our entire app framework on Applicaster. This content distribution and app development platform is cloud-based and provides insights and tools needed to engage and own audiences across all devices and platforms. Applicaster allows us to build a personalisation layer for the user, which is a key differentiator for us.

We have collaborated with foreign tech companies that use machine learning to send personalised notifications and recommendations to each user based on their device, internet bandwidth, and content preferences. We have an Auto Preview Tool that uses AI to pick the most relevant scene and auto plays the content that has given us multifold click through Rates.

We believe in high levels of automation: The daily 25-minute episodes of the on-air shows that get uploaded on our platform get converted into a 7-minute episode through machine learning without having to edit it. Very soon, our entire content and features QC will get automated to bring in scale and efficiency.

6. Deep tech and Big Data to play a major role in automation and productivity

We believe in data-led decision making be it content commissioning, product enhancements or marketing promotions with our consumers. We have invested in a Data Lake which will be the single source of data for all our data, automated dash boarding tool so that all data gets reported and picked from 1 source, CDP which will help in all marketing activities and for better targeting and segmentation.

We have invested a huge data science of 40 odd people who cut across Product, Content, Research and are constantly building models and churning data with Business insights for informed decision making that has resulted in better ROI

7. Ad:tech 2.0

While digital advertising spend in India has been traditionally mostly concentrated with Google and Facebook, OTT platforms with their massive user base have also started attracting brands lately.

In 2019, ZEE5 launched tools like Infonomix, Ampli5, Ad-Vault, WishBox and Play5 under its Ad-suite which clearly indicated the platform’s aggressiveness to increase ad-revenue.

Almost every advertiser today right from Unilever to Procter and Gamble, Colgate to all the large FMCGs, including Dabur, Pepsi, and Coke etc. advertise with us.

We are betting big on Ad:tech 2.0 to help deliver KPI’s for brands in the most efficient way and brand-safe environment.

8. Gamification 2.0

We tasted success via integrating Gamification across our key TV content. The kind of engagement levels and traffic we witnessed was unparalleled. Gamification is here to stay and 2020 will see many brands adopting this to engage with their audience. At ZEE5, we have launched ZEE5 Super Family (ZSF) and further, we are going to test gamification with an alternate ending.

(The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of TelevisionPost.com)

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