Technology

Mobile streaming platform Zenga TV looks to double revenues

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MUMBAI: Zenga Media, the mobile and web streaming company, has set itself an ambitious target of doubling its revenues in the current financial year.

Zenga Media, which owns the mobile and web streaming platform Zenga TV, is promoted by former Sony TV executive Shabir Momin and Vikramjiet Roy.

Shabir Momin, the MD and CTO of Zenga TV, says that the company‘s total revenue in the last fiscal was in the region of $2-3 million.

According to Momin, the company has turned RoI (Return on Investment) positive in the last two fiscals and is paying for its own expenses.

"The promoters did not have to infuse funds in the company as it is RoI positive," he adds.

No equity divestment is planned either, rather the aim is to grow the company before exploring fund raising avenues.

Zenga TV is an ad-supported mobile and web streaming platform. It claims to have 22-23 million active users every month. Zenga‘s biggest differentiator, according to Momin, is that it is compatible with even feature phones and the technology is in-house.

The digital streaming platform has content partnerships with the NDTV group, Times Television Network, BAG Network, Reliance Broadcast Network, and Raj TV Network.

However, the big three television networks Star India, Zee Network, and MSM are missing from the platform. The Viacom18 channels too are no longer available on the platform.

"While we don‘t have Star, Zee and Sony, we do have a lot international channels in our offering. Over and above that, we also produce content in various genres for our platform," he avers.

The absence of these powerful networks from Zenga TV means that the platform‘s entertainment bouquet is a a bit of a non-starter.

However, Zenga TV has strong news offering with the presence of NDTV, Times Now, CNBC TV18, Aaj Tak and Headlines Today amongst others.

News is one of the most consumed genres on mobile after entertainment and movies, says Momin. After news, the sports genre has a lot of traction among mobile TV consumers.

However, the cost of acquiring sports rights makes it an unviable proposition to monetise, reveals Momin. After flirting with IPL rights in 2009, Zenga gave it up as it discovered it could not recoup its investments.

"It‘s better to be profitable rather than taking risks with cricket rights," he asserts.

Zenga TV generally does 50-50 revenue share deals with broadcasters which means that its content costs is zilch. However, monetising content through advertisement is still not that easy a task.

Reason: The ad spends on mobile are still very low compared to the kind of reach that it delivers. However, Momin is optimistic. His optimism stems from the predictions that mobile ad spends are expected to grow to Rs 3 billion by 2015 up from the current Rs 1.5 billion.

Zenga TV plans to play the volume game by being a free content platform. Going pay is not a good option as one has to be at the mercy of telecom operators, who dictate terms to platform owners on revenue share, points out Momin.

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