How ZEE5 is fortifying its East presence with its ‘Bangaliana’ strategy

In a move to consolidate its presence in the Eastern markets, OTT platform ZEE5 has unveiled a power-packed content slate of 10 big-ticket Originals along with much awaited movies for the global Bengali diaspora starting 2023. Expanding its SVOD offerings, ZEE5 will eventually release a web series every month, ranging from whodunit murder mysteries, crime dramas, psychological thrillers, sleuth adventures with the quintessential Bengali comedy and romance.

Earlier, talking about the content slate for 2023, Samrat Ghosh, Chief Cluster Officer - East, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), in a release issued, expressed his confidence on ZEE5’s content slate being able to excite the OTT Bangla viewer and address their need for pace, thrill and adventure. He had added, “We have stories from different parts of West Bengal that reflect its cultural essence and the variedness of its landscape. We have stories that emerge from our Bangaliana, but also reflect the challenges and the complexities of this new world we live in.”

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ZEE5 puts the Bangla OTT viewer on the edge of their seats

In conversation with Adgully, Samrat Ghosh, Chief Cluster Officer - East, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, speaks about fortifying ZEE5’s Bangla content slate, focus on the Eastern markets, following the ‘Bangaliana’ path, creating differentiation for the OTT platform, and more.

What is Zee Entertainment’s strategy behind fortifying its Bangla slate of content?

Zee already has a strong hold over the Bangla audience via platforms like Zee Bangla and Zee Bangla Cinema in the GEC and movies genres, respectively. While making content as a content creator, we need to understand what our audience is looking for, what life they are living, and what all things they want in their life. We need to create relevant content by taking all these things into consideration, and that’s what we have been doing. Our motive for the OTT space is somewhat similar. We want to create relatable content to widen the spectrum of audiences.

We are willing to offer innovative products for the consumers which will cater to the different taste buds of the OTT native audience in the Bengal market. We have an exciting slate lined up catering to various genres. We are working with a lot of great talents in the market. Several famous actors and directors, including Ankush Hazra, Indrani Haldar, among others, have been part of this Bangla Series.

What is your growth strategy for the Eastern market?

We are not releasing a new app; rather, we are integrating a Bangla content slate into the ZEE5 app. That’s why there will be no changes in the app, and the distribution strategies in terms of pricing will be the same.

Bengali is the seventh most widely used language in India, with more than 10 crore people speaking the language, therefore, the potential is enormous. Our platform provides a narrative beauty yet to be experienced by many untapped customers. To get a high ratio of conversion for us, we are also working on all of the marketing concepts, which we refer to as 360-degree marketing strategies.

What are the expectations from the Bengal market? What sort of content slate you have lined up?

As of now, we are announcing 10 original series and a plethora of blockbuster films.

We are working with the most prolific storytellers and actors who have proven not just their performance mettle in keeping the viewers hooked to what will happen next (Erpor Ki), but also earned widespread viewer love. Besides that, we have stories from different parts of West Bengal that reflect its cultural essence and the variedness of its landscape. Despite the challenges and complexities of this new world we live in, we have stories that emerge from our ‘Bangaliana’. We are confident that our content slate will excite the OTT Bangla viewer and address their need for pace, thrill, and adventure. We look forward to their response to our bouquet of content offerings.

We anticipate the same kind of support for our OTT slate that we have had from the audience and consumers of Bangla content from our robust platforms. We are willing to maintain a very vigorous pace in the heart of the audience, because we are confident the material will entice customers.

2023 will be the year for content consumers as many players are entering the media and entertainment sector.  What is your USP in a highly competitive market?

In this enormous creative ecosystem, there is room for everyone to co-exist. Even right now, 5G is forecast to expand and it will improve user experience. In the upcoming years, all of the platforms will experience an overall increase.

We intend to differentiate ourselves by the content that we provide. We have maintained the root by following a modern ‘Bangaliana’ path.

What will be the role of ‘Originals’ in making ZEE5 a key differentiator in East India’s diverse competitor landscape?

In the Film ecosystem, we tend to acquire whatever movies are created in marketing. A great advantage of Original content is that it allows you to back up all the insights into your content, shape it, and tailor it to the market’s needs. By analysing your platform, you get an understanding of what people are looking for, and what is not available in the market that you can provide – and that is what that makes your content unique.


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