ZEE5, India’s largest original content creator and the most popular entertainment OTT platform, in addition to the impactful content tent poles such as Radhe and The Friends: Reunion, ZEE5 has announced a content partnership with TVF (The Viral Fever) that will further bolster the platforms content library with popular iconic favorites like Pitchers, Permanent Roommates, Tripling, and many more. With both brands targeting the hinterland audiences, through this partnership, ZEE5 aims to onboard new digital consumers by offering this content on its AVOD platform – accessible to all.
Nimisha Pandey, Head Hindi Originals ZEE5 India, speaks to MediaNews4U on the partnership, the fresh content for their subscribers, and how this partnership will enable the platform to reach out to newer audiences…
Recently you have associated with Alt Balaji and now TVF, what is the strategy behind these associations?
As a platform, we want to be able to tell diverse stories where the consumers find what they like, pick the kind of content they want to watch without being judged. The idea is to get people who are brilliant at their craft, whether it was the previous collaborators that we had or now specifically TVF. They have a unique DNA of storytelling where they show ordinary protagonists with extraordinary journeys, talk about hope, basically they are inspiring and heart-warming. I don’t think there has ever been a better time to tell these kinds of stories. We really need these sunshine stories. As a platform, we want to give these kinds of stories to our audience. Another part of our strategy is that we want to be home to not only diverse content but also passionate storytellers. We want to collaborate with creators who know the pulse of the audience, and who are passionate about their craft. TVF is the beginning of that journey for us.
What would be the nature of this partnership and what kind of content will TVF share with ZEE5?
TVF will give us what they do best, their kind of content. We are leveraging the strength of our partners. The idea is to not get people and tell them to make what we want them to make, but to get people who are good with what they do, and further leverage from their strengths. So, even in this partnership, you will get to see shows which are very true to TVF’s style, and that resonate with the masses along with the youth of the country. In terms of logistics, we will have their very popular IPs with us, and we will also have subsequent seasons which will be exclusive. For example, some of their shows are available on other platforms too but as a part of this deal, new seasons of the shows, like Pitchers Season-2 will be on ZEE5.
Will the earlier content of TVF also be available on ZEE5?
Some of the properties are there, for example, Pitchers, Tripling, Permanent Roommates are available on other platforms, will be available on our platform too. But the subsequent new seasons will be exclusively on ZEE5. In addition to that, we are also excited about some new IPs that they are creating exclusively for us.
TVF TG is very different from ZEE5 how will this partnership work?
This partnership is diversifying and adding to the depth of our content. It is a really an apt partnership of two very desi brands coming together. And it is not that a certain section of the audience will only watch one kind of storytelling and another will watch only one kind of telling. What we see in OTT and viewing habits is what we call taste clusters. You can be somebody who enjoys Sunflower and Tripling, or who loves a thriller and loves a daily soap. As a platform, we are not here to judge, our job is to give the audience as varied options as possible. TVF also helps us break into a new segment of the audience, acquire new subscribers, and also engage and cater to the audience that came to us thanks to Friends or Radhe.
The earlier association with Alt Balaji and now TVF are you looking in increasing your subscriber base as OTT has become a part of everyone’s life now?
Hundred per cent. Our gain in the regional market is very strong. In fact, we happen to be the only OTT player with an interface in 12 languages. We were not doing as many Originals earlier but now we are going full throttle in that space. This is where we are leaning into the parental strengths of the brand. We are already quite strong pan-India in the regional markets, so we just have to build this amazing legacy that we already have. We have great plans ahead, stay tuned for it.
Has ZEE5 now reached the tier 2&3 audience? Will TVF also do regional content for you?
It is something that I cannot confirm or comment on right now but let me just say that what we are looking at with TVF is a rock-solid partnership and not just a superficial handshake. As things start rolling, you will be able to see for yourself.
Can we see many more such partnerships in the coming days?
Yes, there are some new partnerships that are in the pipeline which I would absolutely love to talk to you about, but today is all about TVF. What I can tell you is that this is just the beginning of tying up with passionate storytellers. So, you will see some very talented storytellers coming on our platform very soon.
Do these partnerships also give you a wider range of content?
Yes, so, the range of content is both to acquire new customers and keep the current ones. We are a consumer-obsessive company so we will find a way to reach them.