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Zee to enter Malayalam market, expand Telugu genres

On its completion of 25 years, Zee announced its new corporate identity of ‘Extraordinary Together’. It also highlighted its focus on digital, theatre, content of all forms and international expansion plans for the next 25 years

Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) will soon make its foray into the Malayalam market and expand its bouquet of offerings in the Telugu market.

Speaking at a press conference to reveal its new corporate identity 'Extraordinary together', on completing 25 years, Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEEL, said, “Very soon you will see the entry of Zee into different genres into Southern language and you will see our entry into the Malayalam market also very soon. We have a very strong presence in Telugu and Kannada languages. We are going to expand the portfolio into different genres. In last one year, we have launched Zee Cinemalu, which is a movie channel in Telugu. Because we are late entrants in Southern markets, we need to accumulate far more content.”

Zee is also launching its third OTT platform Z5 soon. It already has Ditto TV and Ozee on the digital front.

Confirming the development, Amit Goenka, CEO, International Broadcast Business, ZEEL, said, “Digital is our key focus area and we are soon to launch our revolutionary digital platform Z5 in the next few weeks.”

Zee had an early mover advantage with Ditto TV and later also launched Ozee, which is a video-on-demand platform. Now with the launch of Z5, Amit hinted that the idea is to consolidate all its digital platforms under Z5 and refused to divulge further about the matter.

Today, content is created to cater to two senses: one is the vision and the second is hearing power. Zee is now experimenting with various forms of technology like virtual reality, augmented reality, sense of touch and sense of taste as well.

“I think there is enough technology that is being developed in the world, where multiple senses can be added on to audio-visual content. We are working on several such technologies in the labs under Amit’s guidance,” added Punit.

Already present are a plethora of content platforms on the digital medium like Sony Liv, Hotstar and others. Commenting on how Zee is going to tailor content to stand out in the crowd, Punit said, “The clear differentiator for any OTT platform will be content. You cannot compare apple to an orange. What the other OTT platforms have is their distinct content and our content is very distinct from them. Zee by far has the largest bouquet of the content of available, be it Hindi, 11 other languages and also the largest film library.”

Zee is looking at creating original content for the digital audience, said Amit at the event.

Punit emphasised the need of focussing on theatre development in India with its platform Zee Live. “Reviving of the theatre would be Zee’s contribution in the next 25 years.”

With the rebranding, the network intends to provide a unified brand experience and to delight consumers across the world by creating extraordinary experiences and entertainment that inspire to transcend the ordinary to become the extraordinary.

Commenting on the new brand identity, Punit said, “Our new brand identity is rooted in the philosophy that from collaboration comes strength to deliver the extraordinary. In a global company like ours with interests across diverse verticals and businesses, we believe that our ability to win lies in us being able to effectively come together and harness this strength to be extraordinary in the market.”

Zee has its presence in 173 countries reaching more than 1.3 billion viewers globally. Now, Zee intends to reach three billion viewers in the next six years.

Talking about the company’s growth plans, Amit said, “With the vision of becoming the world’s leading global content company from the emerging markets, content is our core focus area and our primary objective is to create extraordinary content for all types of across different screens and platforms.”

Explaining the insight of the new logo design, Punit said that the new corporate design has been conceptualised by visionary designer Martin Lambie-Nairn, Creative Director, ML-N. The circular form of the new brand logo symbolises continuity and inclusiveness, while the special colour, Zee’s Amethyst, represents creativity and transformation. The visual property, Exuberance, a colourful explosion of creative energy, makes Zee the fountainhead unleashing the extraordinary potential.

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