India-based media and entertainment firm, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has announced the launch of its over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, ZEE5, in more than 190 countries across the world. Except markets like China and the United States, the digital platform will be present abroad across the Android, iOS and web formats.
On October 2, Zee completed 26 years of operations which coincided with the launch of ZEE5.
Commenting on the launch, the CEO of Zee International and Z5 International, Amit Goenka, said: “Since the time we launched ZEE5 in India earlier this year, our global viewers as well as platform partners have been asking us when we are going to launch globally. As our channels already reach across 72 countries outside India, we knew that a piecemeal approach is not going to work. So, on our 26th anniversary we opened up 190 countries.”
The service, as per Goenka, will also be launched shortly across connected devices such as smart TVs, Amazon FireTV stick, and Apple TV.
ZEE5 will use different strategies for different markets, such as for the US and UK markets, the services will be offered as a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD), compared to the Middle East and North African markets where there will be a freemium model.
Goenka added: “For the premium content, ranging on market’s paying capacity, we have kept subscription between $2 and 10. For some markets, we have kept 100,000 hours of library and ZEE content as ad-supported and a small subscription fee for originals and premium movies.If we expect a large user base, it’ll be a freemium offering, and if it’s a smaller base we’ll go with an SVoD offering.”
At the moment, ZEE5 will provide multi-genre content including news and entertainment across English, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Punjabi. The service will contain English subtitles and live TV offering, along with the video-on-demand content.
For 15 days, subscribers will be able to access ZEE5 for no extra cost in the international markets. ZEE has planned a big official launch in about five to six weeks and soon after ZEE5 will reportedly begin producing international originals.