- DittoTV was launched in 2012 and was one of the first online streaming services.
- OZEE was launched in 2016 but failed to make an impact.
- ZEE5 was launched with all features from its predecessors.
Zee TV-India’s first-ever satellite TV Channel launched in the early ‘90s. Although, very few people know Zee was also the first one to venture into ‘online streaming’. Online streaming was an alien concept to Indian Entertainment industry.
Launch of DittoTV
In February 2012, then MD and CEO of ZEE Punit Goenka introduced the entertainment world to DittoTV- Zee’s subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) service in a glittering press conference. This service enabled the users to watch Live TV, movies and music videos on their phones, PCs, laptops, and Blackberrys.
Not everyone present during that event would have understood the concept of online video streaming in an era of TV. Ditto TV was way ahead of its time in the low bandwidth and price sensitive market of India. Hence, it failed and struggled to make a mark but certainly paved a way for the upcoming industry.
Another attempt with OZEE
However, ZEE learning from the mistakes decided to make another attempt to rule the video streaming market with OZEE- an advertising video-on-demand (AVoD) service. This was similar to YouTube and made free content accessible to all its users.
But by this time, India was starting to hear about online streaming with the recent success of STAR India’s Hotstar during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and there was, of course, Netflix one of the global leaders in online streaming knocking the doors of the Indian entertainment industry.
OZEE failed to make a significant impact on the Indian market despite gaining 145 million views in a quarter. India was becoming more competitive with the launch of Netflix and likes of homegrown services such as VOOT competing for viewership and money.
This sudden increase saw everyone creating digital and homegrown web series. Budgets went high, users increased and the number of OTT services in India rocketed to 30.
Launch of ZEE5 and its success
February 2018 saw ZEE clubbing Ditto TV and OZEE platforms to introduce an all-new OTT service called ZEE5, which had content in 12 languages across multiple formats from web series to movies to regular TV content from the vast network of 45 ZEE channels.
ZEE5 gained 61.5 million users in 12 different languages in one year since its launch. These users are only on ZEE5 and don’t include viewers coming from any of their partners.
Latest quarterly results of ZEE’s report show that ZEE5 users spend an average of 31 minutes on the platform per day and views per user is double the number. This resulted in a significant improvement in application engagement. It also crossed 50 million downloads on the Google Play Store. It is ranked as one of the top five entertainment apps in India.
ZEE5 went worldwide in October 2018 launching app operations in 190 countries. Both as an AVoD and SVoD service through various partners. The company plans to reach 100 million users by the end of 2019.
ZEE5 has planned to invest in three pillars: original content, ecosystem partnership, and cutting-edge technology.
Despite failing in the industry twice, ZEE showed us how you can learn from your mistakes and regain your supremacy. Facing huge competition from both global giants such as Netflix and indigenous leaders such as VOOT, ZEE5 continues to lead the way for others.