ZEE5, India’s Entertainment Super-App, has amassed a loyal following due to its unique premium content library on offer across genres and languages catering to diverse consumer taste clusters.
Recognizing this very diverse, new-age audience’s choices and expressive attitude, ZEE5 has launched its new campaign for their ZEE5 Premium offering – “Atrangi Dekho. Atrangi Raho”. ‘Atrangi’ celebrates eccentricity of audience choices about their life decisions and content that they consume and as part of the campaign, ZEE5 acknowledges the persona and content choices that are unique to this new-age audience.
Medianews4u spoke to Rahul Maroli, Senior Vice President and Head SVOD, ZEE5 India on their recent campaign, the partnerships and their plans post – Covid.
Strategies in this lockdown to encourage subscribers to come to the ZEE5 platform?
We have relationship with various Telco’s but our first was Airtel. Telco’s bought our services and packaged it for their loyal customers as a value-added service. For certain others, it is also a means of distribution which means that they could either be a telco or it could be a modern trade outlet or it could be an internet service provider who wants to monetize their existing customers or look at increasing their revenues from their existing customers and they want to bring a complementing product like ZEE5, we are not competing with them but complimenting with them, it increases their ARPU, it could be a model trade outlet, in reality, we are including with multiple outlets outside.
Multiple partnerships that ZEE5 has is in terms of distribution and also in terms of integrated partnerships, in a very complex and technical way, means you are able to integrate partnerships and that has been working out quite well and I am very proud to say that we will quickly have a multitude of partners across various business chains and every day we receive multiple requests from some of these partners who want to either work with us on building loyalty or in terms of monetizing their existing customers.
A very clear example of the first partnership that Airtel offered ZEE5, a subscription for its platinum customers, segregation of customers and they offer it completely free of cost to their Platinum subscribers.
As a telco, we have various other relations but we are really proud of the partnership with Airtel and even before I joined ZEE5, one of the only reasons why I continue to use Airtel, and as a Platinum subscriber I had free access to Zee. I decided to continue because of the benefits that Airtel gave me.
Recently you launched this new brand campaign, was it strategically right to launch it during this lockdown?
The energy for this campaign was nothing but ‘Atrangi’, its unique and we tried celebrating the unique positioning of the campaign with the people coming on the ZEE5 platform. We have content for every type of individual and that is where we collected unique insights that we had and this country is very unique. There are different types of people here and even their habits and likeness for content is completely different and based on that, the idea came up for this campaign.
And what better time to launch the campaign in the present time, it also brings in the positivity in people, then looking at gloomy numbers of climbing coronavirus cases and also the so-called flattened economic curves, so this is a campaign that oozes out all sorts of positivity.
How are you increasing your subscriber base and how much of regional content has been added to your portfolio?
Now, in terms of subscriber base I will go back to the previous point, we have the retail business which is a b2b business and we also have the partnerships, through whom we are trying to double down this year significantly. When it comes to recent content, there is a significant investment that we have done in terms of regional content and there are multiple original contents that we have launched in Tamil and also there are a few that are in the pipeline and regional has been a significant focus for the Tamil and Telugu market.
Why the special focus on original Tamil content?
The Tamil audience is a very strong audience, which largely watches only Tamil and there is a propensity to pay, also the market size is reasonably large. We have a very strong Tamil channel, be it GEC or the recently launched movie channel, the brand is very well established, and our ability to sell to this to the customers and to produce content is very strong.
Difficult times help you in inventing new business opportunities and leads to the division of business models, your thoughts on this?
I think every business goes through difficult times, every business goes through situations like this one and what really differentiates us in times like this is that how are you able to see some of those opportunities and revise your entire business.
We have been focusing a lot in terms of what are the new business models, the new packaging, new relationships or new partnerships that need to be put in place. If you are asking us has there been a difference in the way we are conducting our business and working changed due to the lockdown and has it affected our business, no it has not. I would actually say we have been more productive or should I say as productive as we were when we were working out from an office.
It is been going extremely well for us and all our employees, there is videoconferencing available, everybody is working from home in the usual hours and our business has just not suffered. It has also given us a lot of opportunities to go back and think of additional models and new models which could propel us to our next level of growth and you will get to hear on some of these models, over the next few weeks.
Post lockdown when everything comes back to normal what would be your marketing strategies and to retain existing subscribers?
I think lockdown has not changed anything much for us, it gave us a small push in terms of our path. We were quite clear from the beginning of the year that our growth ambitions are very clear, very aggressive about our growth ambitions on the back of our content and the partnership that we are trying to put in place, these are two-tier pillars of our entire growth ambition for our premium content and both of them have been working extremely well. Our content pipeline is looking very strong, we had two great movies, ‘Chintu Ka Birthday and ‘Ghoomketu’, which did extremely well and it was the second most-watched movie on our platform. ‘Chintu Ka Birthday’ was also very well received on the platform. The movie just kept you at the edge of the seat and people never felt bored though the entire movie was shot in one room with no song and dance.
Our content partners are looking very strong and also partnerships are in the pipeline. In fact, we are seeing more and more partners now coming forward and telling us that we want to explore something deep and meaningful, where we want to sell Zee5 to our subscribers and want to make Zee5 as part of our loyalty program. That is happening very well for us and these are the two core things that are happening and a lot of optimization that is happening internally.