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“With TVF & ZEE5 partnership, it’s like two massive truly desi brands coming together”

In addition to the impactful content tentpoles such as ‘Radhe’ and ‘Friends: Reunion’, ZEE5 is now announcing a content partnership with TVF (The Viral Fever) in a move to further bolster their content library with popular iconic favourites 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.

Meanwhile, ZEE5 is all geared to launch in the US on June 22, a market with a ready 5.4 million diaspora audience. The platform is currently under beta testing in the US market. This direct-to-consumer service launch is especially significant at a time when Indians in the US, many of whom remain deeply connected to their roots, are unable to travel home.

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With 130,000 hours of content across 18 languages, ZEE5 will offer a premium, highly accessible, and affordable option for viewers to engage with the largest catalogue of South Asian, that is, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi content to the diaspora.

In conversation with Adgully, Nimisha Pandey, Head - Hindi Originals, ZEE5 India, gives an insight into the nature of ZEE5’s partnership with TVF, its expansion to the US and other global markets, ZEE5’s content strategy in the regional markets and more.

Are you planning for more such collaborations to further fortify ZEE5’s content library?

It’s a two-fold plan, one is to add diverse content and add content to library that caters to fresh taste clusters and newer segment of audience. The kind of content that TVF stands for, the DNA of their story, which is real, inspirational and heart-warming, it’s just the need of the hour. This is the one part of it where we are looking forward to take these stories and this content and bring new viewers to watch ZEE5 content. The second part is that TVF is such an incredible and talented storyteller that we want to be a home for such talent.

Going forward, you will see that there is a huge part of our strategy where we will be diversifying in various genres, we will be diversifying to cater to different taste clusters and be absolutely inclusive in terms of entertainment and also in terms of home to talented creators.

ZEE5 is known for adult genre content, whereas TVF has content which caters to teens, how do you marry the two?

You don’t need to marry the two; the whole point is that you can be who you want to be on our platform. There is an audience for all kinds of content, that is exactly what I mean when I say entertainment inclusion, it is diversifying the content, there is absolutely no judgement on whether you want to watch ‘Radhe’ or you want to watch ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’, which are two very different segments of audience. The statement that we are trying to make here is that we are very consumer focused, and we will be very aggressively and strategically catering to all kinds of consumer base.

What genres will you be covering with this collaboration?

While we have one kind of content covered, we will have a lot of investigation, thriller and edgy stuff. With this collaboration, we bring to you more relatable, inspiring and heart-warming content.

You are gearing up to launch in the US. What is your expansion plan and how are you onboarding new viewers on the digital platform?

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The growth plan is forked into various strategies, one, of course, is going deeper into the country. With TVF and ZEE5 together, it Is like two massive truly Desi brands coming together. This also includes regionalisation, and we are coming up with a lot of regional content. The second is to go global, and the US launch is part of that strategy in line. We are planning to reach out to the consumers in every corner of the country and the world.

How are you expanding across the regional markets? Have you tied up with any players?

We originally are pretty strong in the regional markets. We are now going even more aggressive on it and there are some collaborations in the pipeline, which we will be announcing soon.

What ZEE5’s content strategy?

Diversity is a huge part of our content strategy, which everyone will see going forward. We are consciously not trying to cater to only a single segment, what we are trying to cater to is different taste clusters. The second major part is to collaborate with content creators, talent makers and storytellers. So, the idea is to get people to do things that they are best at, and do it with us.

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