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ZEE-Airtel partnership is a big opportunity for video consumption: Tarun Katial

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Airtel entered into one of the largest content partnerships in the country last week. The strategic alliance is aimed at driving the growth of digital/OTT video content ecosystem in India. 

Under this strategic partnership, Airtel and ZEEL will work closely to curate innovative and highly compelling digital/ OTT video content solutions for customers across India. The partnership aims to bring hundreds of millions of new users onto the digital content platforms driven by rapid adoption of smart devices and wider availability of high speed data services. 

Speaking to Adgully on how this partnership between ZEEL and Airtel materialised, Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5, said, “It had been in the works for quite some time and I think it was a great opportunity for Airtel, the largest telecom operator in this country, and ZEEL, the largest content creator/ broadcaster in this country, to come together and work. It’s a big opportunity for video consumption.” 

While explaining how this partnership would help ZEE5 in terms of reach, Katial said, “There are three aspects to it. Airtel TV App’s users will get access to ZEE5 content, content curation, consumer insight, and marketing & distribution. Airtel is the largest telecom operator with more than 30 per cent market share in the country. The OTT landscape is evolving with collaborations and partnerships, content, data and technology and I think corporates are looking at each other to work with each other. ZEE5 is a premium model. This content will be selective and will definitely be in HD format.” 

Airtel customers will get exclusive access to premium content of ZEEL, while Airtel TV App’s users will get access to ZEE5 content. Both ZEE5 and Airtel are digital platforms and have the ability to reach out to consumers who are already on the mobile platform, which allows ZEE5 to get more personal and sharper in terms of marketing its platform, Katial added. 

Both ZEEL and Airtel will also drive joint development and marketing of innovative content solutions for the Indian market and collaborate in areas such as digital advertising. Katial added, “This will be a co-branded marketing strategy, with separate plans for Airtel TV and ZEE5 integration as well as the App integration. Each of the marketing strategies will be different.” 

As far as the revenue model is concerned, it would be based on cost per subscriber on both the sides. “Airtel has paid an MG to ZEE5 and it is a three-year partnership. We are also in talks with other telecom partners,” Katial further said.

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