With a focus on regional content and originals, Aparna Acharekar, from ZEE5 takes us through the OTT platform’s strategy.
Aparna Acharekar, Programming head, ZEE5 sheds light on how ZEE5 as content provided performed in 2019, the role of original content in the ecosystem, and the road to 2020.
How was 2019 for ZEE5? Please share the key highlights of the brand performance.
2019 has been good when we completed a year. From the day of our inception, we have launched close to 106 originals now in regional languages. Originals are a crucial part of our strategy.
This year, we will take forward our franchises like Kaafir, Rejects, Rangbaaz, Chargesheet, The siege. Ensuring that all clusters of the audiences are entertained is like the one-line motto for ZEE5.
This year witnessed the announcement of us collaborating with ALT Balaji. This allowed partnering with another content creator who understands the pulse of Indian women audience
Creating Original Content is become a norm in the industry. How much budget do they have for originals?
Originals are additional viewing content for the audience other than what they are getting on television. It creates disruption because of the themes we are taking up. It is closer to reality. In television, one always had to be in a fiction zone. But in series, people want real characters, real stories. They don’t want the fictional world. Broken but Beautiful is a good example of that.
OTT has caused a revolution through our viewing behavior than just through its content.
The budget doesn’t define a show. We want to create good content, visual and production. The audience going for a subscription on our platform would not want to compromise on the quality and value of the content on the OTT channel.
Also read: [Interview] Digital doesn’t have few metrics like that on television: Amogh Dusad, SonyLIV
Zee5 leverages regional content. Take us through its performance for the OTT app?
The performance of regional content prompted us to start a regional subscription pack on the ZEE5 platform. The majority of consumers opt for our annual packs providing content in all the regional languages available than limiting themselves to one language.
We are launching shows across languages targeted at different taste clusters like Karoline Kamakshi and Police Diary. So, there is a wide array of shows in the regional languages with most of them dubbed in other languages, as well.
We have observed gamification for non-fiction shows but you plan to incorporate the concept for fiction, as well. Could you shed some light on that?
It is not a ‘passive-viewing’ experience on the platform. Digital medium being interactive, Gamification is a key part of our strategy. We launched the Uri game, games during Dadagiri and others.
The aim of the platform is to always keep the consumers engaged through various initiatives launched on the channels.
Please take us through your content plan for 2020. What will be your USP to break the clutter of the OTT industry in the coming year?
For the content calendar, we have programs until March 2021. The content calendar for 2020 is full. There are shows for every month which are dubbed in every language.
We aim to keep the audience very busy in 2020 that will be continuing until 2021 and further keeping Originals at the center.
What kind of content distribution strategy do you have in place for the coming year?
As ZEE5, we are present on almost all touchpoints. We are present across all Smart TVs, across the app ecosystem and connected devices.
We are also launching progressive web apps (PWAs) to make web experience easier. The brand has attempted to make all consumer touchpoints from payment to an interface made easy.
ZEE5 also has a separate app for KaiOS users. We are across classes and masses.
Please shed some light on the content strategy of the platform.
3 things are core to our strategy-
- Experience, and
- Good Content
If we have these things in place, we are clearly a winner.