Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) launched its own digital over-the-top (OTT) platform – the ZEE5 – to further strengthen its lead as a media and entertainment powerhouse.
With the app’s unrivalled content and robust technology, Zee aims to reach out to its 1.3 billion user base across 173 countries. The app combines on-demand and Live TV to give viewers a completely integrated entertainment experience.
The platform will compete with global players like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, broadcaster-owned platforms like Hotstar, Voot and SonyLIV as well as independent video-on-demand service providers like YuppTV, Hooq and Spuul. While most apps available today focus on the age-group of 18-35 years, the ZEE5 app targets all age groups. Moreover, it focuses on Tier-II and Tier-III cities, along with the metro and mini-metro cities, given the range of languages the content is available in.
ZEE5 can be downloaded from Google Play Store and iOS App Store. It is supported on devices that have Android 4.1 or iOS 9.0 and above. The app also runs on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV. The app is currently running its 11.2.96 version.
What We Loved
Language is the core proposition of its entire range of content and user experience. It brings in the advantage of ‘language of comfort’. There are around 12 navigational and featured languages in TV, catchup TV, lifestyle shows, movies, children’s programs, acclaimed plays and exclusive web-series.
ZEE5 is a delight for all cinema lovers out there. Its rich movie library has options ranging from India’s first sound picture, Alam Ara, to Oscar winning movies like Moonlight. There are movies in HD format, including recent Bollywood releases like Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, Tamil hit Mersal or the Hollywood blockbuster 12 Years A Slave. The app also has a hand-picked list of popular dubbed and sub-titled movies for viewers who are interested in other language content.
For those who like to binge watch serials, the platform has over 1,00,000 hours of TV show content in its 500+ series, in eight different languages. These included the highly-rated Zee TV favorites like Kundali Bhagya, Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hain, Tuzhat Jeev Rangala, Solvathellam Unmai, Dance Jodi Dance, Dadagiri, Dance Karnataka Dance and more. There is an impressive collection of Premium-TV series from around the world. Some of the best-known Turkish, Korean and Spanish shows are available in HD format. Top-rated English series and Pakistani dramas are also included.
For those who enjoy web-series, ZEE5 boasts of a range of original web-series across different genres, in different languages. There are plenty of short story videos to choose from. For children, the app’s kid content includes animated series, science shows, top rated animated movies, DIY craft tutorials and other learning videos.
In case you missed watching your favorite award shows on TV, you can catch it on ZEE5, with full event videos in Hindi and other regional formats, like Zee Cine Awards, Zee Marathi awards and many more in its list. The 90+ Live TV channels include live darshan feeds from Siddhivinayak Temple, Shirdi Sai Baba and other important holy places.
Describing the offering, Punit Goenka, MD & CEO at ZEEL, said, “A blend of unrivalled content offering and robust technology is the foundation of this all-new digital offering from our end. We have invested immense amount of time and energy in creating and acquiring rich and engaging content for ZEE5, which I’m sure will be cherished by our viewers across the nation and worldwide.”
Some of the exclusive and new features of the app include a fresh new UI and UX with display language navigation and content language customization. One can enjoy video streaming in HD quality with the option of offline downloading of shows and movies. You could watch the repeat telecast of popular Live TV channels through the channel re-run feature. You can also watch trendiest music videos in HD from popular movies in Bollywood, Telugu, Marathi and more.
Adaptive Bitrate streaming and seamless video playback features make the experience awesome. Smart content search features are also present, which include voice search and recommendation options.
Amit Goenka, CEO at ZEE International and Z5 Global, commented, “To us, ZEE5 is the platform on which this content will be readily available to the world. Every aspect of ZEE5 is based on our deep understanding of our consumers and their local ecosystem. It is both local and global at the same time and we know it is going to change the way you watch content.”
ZEE5 has both free and premium pricing models. It is available at an exclusive launch offer subscription of Rs.99. At other times, the premium content of the platform is available at a monthly subscription of Rs.150. All the existing 10 million users of OZEE and DittoTV will be upgraded to ZEE5.
Referring to the changing medium of content consumption, Archana Anand, Digital Head at ZEE5 India, states, “…now the infrastructure has improved, bandwidth costs have fallen, smartphone penetration has increased and for us the timing is perfect now. It was a natural process of Zee to future-proof its business and get into digital.”
What We Missed
The app is yet to update its library of movies and TV shows, which will give it an edge over other platforms. Some of the best TV shows and movies feature in the paid content option. The app still needs to work on its search accuracy.
The Last Word
The app is a delight to viewers who have been hooked to the Zee TV network channels for decades. People who miss their favorite series due to scheduling problems can now watch them on ZEE5 at their convenience. The app has a huge selection of content, not just for the young but for every age group, across India