ZEEL launches VoD platform ZEE5; premium offering priced at Rs 99 per month

MUMBAI: ZEEL has launched its video on demand (VoD) service ZEE5 which will offer Indian and international movies and TV shows, music, live TV, and health and lifestyle content across 12 languages.

The media conglomerate has priced its premium offering at a special launch price offer of Rs 99 per month instead of the actual monthly pack price of Rs 150.

Comparably, Star India’s VoD platform charges Rs 199 per month for premium service. However, Hotstar also offers sports content. Sony Pictures Networks India’s premium offering is priced at Rs 120 for three months across Android and iPhone devices. Viacom18’s Voot is planning to come out with a SVoD service.

Netflix India has three plans basic, standard, and premium priced Rs 500, Rs 650 and Rs 800 per month. Amazon Prime Video comes free with annual Prime membership of Rs 999.

Premium subscribers will get access to the entire library of content on the platform including originals and exclusive Indian and international content. The platform follows a freemium model with some content behind the paywall and some available for free.

ZEE5 will have eight originals in Hindi and regional languages. The originals include Table No. 5 (Hindi), Lockdown (Hindi), The Story (Hindi), Babbar Ka Tabbar (Hindi), Karenjit Kaur (Hindi), Utsaha Ithihasam (Malayalam), America Mappillai (Tamil), Horn Ok Please (Marathi).

The premium offering also includes Indian and international movies and TV shows besides the Pakistani, Turkish, and Korean content that aired on the Zindagi channel. It also features Zee Theatre Plays in addition to health and lifestyle content from its Living Zen channel.

ZEE5 has been launched by integrating VoD service OZEE and live TV service Ditto TV. Besides being the aggregator of the Zee network content, ZEE5 also has an extensive live TV offering with 90+ popular live television channels..

The live TV service is also behind the pay wall. It also features Turner India’s kids channels Cartoon Network and Pogo. This service also has third party channels from TV Today Network, BBC Worldwide and Doordarshan.

Apart from language, the platform has also segregated content based on genres such as action, comedy, horror and drama. It also features latest Hindi movies in addition to old movies. Most of the latest movies are behind the pay wall. In terms of language, the platform only has English, Hindi, and Marathi movies. It also features South dubbed movies.

The content on Zee5 is available in 12 languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Odiya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. The app is equipped with voice search, so the users will be able to find movies and shows easily.

It comes packed with 1,00,000 hours of on-demand content, including exclusive originals, Indian and international movies and TV shows, music, and health and lifestyle videos across languages.

“With the launch of ZEE5 we see ourselves catapulting into the next phase of growth. Digital will play a critical role in fueling this growth and we wanted to ensure that we had a strong offering and presence in the space,” said ZEE International and Z5 Global CEO Amit Goenka.

Zee5 will be available on iOS and Android phones, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick and Chromecast. Zee5 is also available at zee5.com and as a progressive Web app.

“The launch of ZEE5 further strengthens us as a Media & Entertainment powerhouse. A blend of unrivalled content offering and robust technology is the foundation of this all-new digital offering from our end. We have invested immense amount of time and energy in creating and acquiring rich and engaging content for ZEE5, which I’m sure will be cherished by our viewers across the nation and worldwide,” said ZEEL MD and CEO Punit Goenka.

ZEE5 is also available as a Progressive Web App (PWA) to address the patchy connectivity and low phone storage scenarios. The Content Download option enables a viewer to download content from the app while on Wi-Fi and save it to watch later without incurring data costs.

In addition, the option to save this content on the SD/memory card enables viewers to manage their phone memory easily. A Multi-CDN strategy, based on real-time performance-based selection, will ensure a high quality, superbly optimized video viewing experience for ZEE5 viewers across all devices.

Additional key features include Chromecast/airplay support, Add to Watchlist, Add to Favourites, Set Show reminders, ability to browse other content with player minimisation, TV Guide and uninterrupted streaming on low bandwidth.

Outlining the India strategy, ZEE5 India head Archana Anand said, “We see ZEE5 as filling a definite need-gap in the Indian market for strong language content and navigation experience across Indian languages. Our platform will be as relevant to the urban elite as it is to the new digital audiences experiencing Internet for the first time. India’s digital story is going to be fuelled by new language consumers and that’s exactly who ZEE5 is for. Our Brand Anthem celebrates this spirited new India, globally savvy, yet happiest in the language of their comfort. We believe this market to be hugely underserved and hence, see this approach as key to driving our India win.”

ZEE5’s brand anthem and brand identity were also unveiled on Wednesday. The catchy multilingual brand anthem is directed by Dangal director Nitesh Tiwari. Composed by Amit Trivedi and written by Amitabh Bhattacharya, the anthem is a Celebration of Languages and brings to life the freedom of consuming content in the language of your comfort. Keeping in mind the distinct audiences, two versions of the anthem have been created – one for the North market and one for the South, each catering to the specific market nuances for authenticity and connect.

The name ZEE5 comes from the number of continents that ZEE is available in. ‘5’ essentially signifies the five continents ZEE has its presence in and is a tribute to its extraordinary journey over the last 25 years.