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Zee5 launches 20 originals to drive up subscription

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MUMBAI: Within days of entering the market, over-the-top (OTT) player Zee5 has announced 20 original shows across a variety of languages and genres to be launched by the end of April 2018 under Zee5 Originals. The regional languages in focus are Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali.

Most of them are web series but three are Hindi short films along with one Bengali movie. The company has been brainstorming for a year to decide what will attract millennials. As a result, seven genres have been targetted–thriller, action, drama, comedy, satire, biopics and reality.

The company is working towards driving up monetisation by putting all the content behind a paywall. Currently, Zee5 earns from both AVOD and SVOD but aims to increase the share of the latter going forth.

Every month will see the launch of one new web series and one short film taking the total tally to over 90 shows by the end of March 2019.

The most eye-catchy of the bunch is Karenjit Kaur, a biopic of Sunny Leone where you can see how she shot to stardom in Bollywood from an adult film actress. Other Hindi shows on offer are Life Sahi Hai 2, Lockdown, Babbar Ka Tabbar, Zero Kms, Table Number 5, The Story, The Big Cover Up and Dhatt Teri Ki and three Hindi short films Mehmaan, Tamashree, Sone Bhi Do Yaaron. There are two Marathi web series Liftman and Horn OK Please, two Telugu web-series Nanna Koochi, Chitram Vichatram, two Tamil web-series Kallachirippu, America Mappillai, one Malayalam web-series Utsaha Ithihasam and one Bengali movie Aranya Deb.

Speaking to media, Zee International and Zee5 CEO Amit Goenka said, “Our aim is to present thought-provoking and relatable content which stirs emotions, triggers conversations and leaves the viewers feeling entertained and refreshed. Zee5 Originals will feature a library of exclusive content which is relatable, understated, bold, progressive and layered making for an immersive experience keeping our core target engaged and stimulating their entertainment appetite in a language of their choice.”

Zee5 digital head Archana Anand admitted that without any hard and fast regulation yet, there is more freedom. But she also mentioned that corporate honchos were aware of the type of content that needs to be shown or while keeping things fun and exciting.

The ongoing concerns regarding data security on online platforms can keep viewers on their guard. Anand, however, said that the platform was committed to keeping people’s data secure and was even consulting international companies for strengthening it.

A separate tab for kids’ content is on its to-do list by next month. Production of kids’ content will be ramped up in future along with acquisitions. The Zee network will leverage its global reach to tap into the vast Indian diaspora spread over the world.

In an earlier interview Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd MD and CEO Punit Goenka said, ““Zee5 is poised to be the largest digital platform for Indian entertainment in the world, bringing the best of live television, Indian and international TV shows, movies and videos to viewers in the language of their choice and across all internet connected devices.”

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