ZEE introduces OTT service across 190 countries including MENA

Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) has become the first Indian entertainment company to roll out its over-the-top (OTT) video service, ZEE5, to over 190 countries. Till now, only international companies such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have a worldwide presence of this scale. 

On October 2, Zee has completed 26 years of operations which coincides with the launch of ZEE5.

The CEO of Zee International and Z5 International, Amit Goenka, declared, “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.”

As part of the launch, ZEE5 will be accessible across the web, android and iOS platforms. “In a few weeks’ time, we will roll out the service across connected devices such as smart TVs, Amazon FireTV stick, and Apple TV,” said Goenka. 

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 commented, “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.”

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 5-6 weeks and soon after ZEE5 will also begin producing international originals.