Higher production values of OTT content won't put pressure on TV biz: Punit Goenka

ZEE5 global launch will happen in a phased manner.


MUMBAI:  With the growth of OTT market, all the big four broadcasters in India have ramped up their investment in digital ventures. To woo the online viewers, OTT platforms are producing high cost shows especially when it comes to originals. While there have been concerns that higher production values of OTT content might affect the content cost of TV business, Zee Entertainment MD and CEO Punit Goenka does not foresee such a scenario in his case.

Starting from Amazon Prime’s Inside Edge to Netflix’s Sacred Games, ZEEL’s digital venture ZEE5’s Karenjit Kaur, the star cast, and content quality clearly indicates the high budget of the shows, though the exact numbers have never been revealed.

Speaking in an earnings call, Punit Goenka said,“In terms of quality, I think it's comparable to what television quality is because we use the same equipment. It will not put pressure on the television part because the sheer volume of television content that is being produced and the economies of scale that is being achieved there versus what we are producing for digital, the delta is far apart.” But he agreed that the content being made for digital platforms is of higher production value because of outdoor shoots and bigger stars.

Zee crates 500 hours of original content every week for broadcast while that is a mere 800 hours for the whole year on digital. “There is no per hour concept there, it is all story and concept-based content cost,” he added.

After creating a buzz in the Indian market thanks to its regional content, ZEE5 is expected to be launched globally soon. Commenting on that, Goenka said the global rollout will be completed in a phased manner. By the end of this fiscal year (FY 19), it will be available globally.

Goenka is very hopeful of Zee5’s international success."If ZEE5 does cannibalise our existing subscription revenue in international markets I will be very happy with that because that's a direct ownership of the customer that the company gets rather having it through a distributor. So that's a good problem if it happens that way and that is one of the parts of our strategy of going global with ZEE5,” he said.

With the technological disruptors, the entertainment industry is always in a flux. 10 years ago, the entry of DTH players changed the industry. Then the increasing internet consumption with the entry of Jio bought another disruption. Now, as Jio with its FTHH connection eyes at  50 to 100 million households, there could be some structural changes especially affecting the broadcasters. However, that possibility does not concern Goenka.

“My view has always been, even when DTH came 10-11 years ago, that all technologies will coexist in a country of our size. So, cable will also coexist, DTH will coexist and even ZEE5 will work. So, it's all going to be different services at different price points. For a content company like us, it doesn't really matter because at the end all three are pipes. So, as long as my content is relevant, I will still get my value from consumer payout,” he said confidently.

However, with a realistic view, he expects ZEE5 to break even in next five years in stark contrast to several players who expect to break even within two-three years. According to him not only ZEE5 but the industry is still now in investment mode and there isn’t a chance to breakeven in the first three years.

Almost every OTT player has already struck deals with telecom players, but ZEE5 has not yet signed any telecom deal in India or overseas. Till the time it isn’t getting the right value of its content, there won’t be any such negotiation.

Latest Reads

ZEE5 partners with FreeCharge

MUMBAI: ZEE5 - India’s largest ConTech brand, and FreeCharge – one of the leading digital platforms for financial services and products, have come together to give another reason for the audience to cheer this festive season. FreeCharge customers can now purchase a Zee5 subscription through the...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Hotstar decodes the online video consumer, unveils India Watch Report 2019

Technology changes swiftly. However, sometimes, the market receptiveness for these changes is even faster. Take for instance some of the revelatory insights thrown by the latest ‘India Watch’ report by Hotstar. Consider the fact that Lucknow, Pune and Patna consume more video data than Hyderabad,...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Amazon Prime Video to launch Amazon Original Series 'Hostel Daze' on 13 Dec

MUMBAI: Amazon Prime Video has announced the launch of its latest Amazon Original Series Hostel Daze, created by The Viral Fever (TVF). Marking the first association with Indian youth's much loved content provider, TVF, the five-part comedy-drama brings to life the adventures of four hostel wing-...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Amazon Prime Video starts festive month with popular titles

MUMBAI : Amazon Prime Video has started the festive month with an exciting selection of popular titles across Indian and International entertainment, including the returning seasons of two popular Amazon Original Series. Riding high on the phenomenal success of Season 1 and a momentous...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Netflix to spend Rs 3000 crore on Indian content

Netflix is upping its India game significantly as the streaming giant is ready to spend Rs 3000 crore on Indian content for this year and the next. Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings spoke about the investment during his India visit on Friday while illustrating the country’s important in their...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Bharti Airtel to raise up to $3 billion

The board of directors of telecom player Bharti Airtel Ltd approved the telecom operator’s proposal to raise up to $3 billion in account of the issue of overdue fees it owes the government.

iWorld Telecom
Netflix available in more than 300 mn pay-TV households

MUMBAI: A new report from UK research firm Ampere Analysis has said that Netflix is available in more than 300 million pay-TV households. It also added that more than 50 million of those have come during 2019. The reach through Pay TV partnerships is almost double the company's current global...

iWorld Over The Top Services
Esports, streaming wars, shopvertising to dominate digital media trends in 2020

Technology will continue to disrupt and reshape the digital media industry in 2020, presenting new opportunities and challenges for advertisers and media owners. While digital media will continue to grow globally, the coming of new technologies, platforms and digital touch points will force...

iWorld Over The Top Services
TVF launches new series ‘Cubicles’ in association with DSP Mutual Fund

MUMBAI: Walking its talk to launch new innovative shows, pioneers in digital content and entertainment, The Viral Fever along with leading asset management company, DSP Investment Managers Private Limited is all set to add a new original to its repertoire with the release of TVF Originals ‘Cubicles...

iWorld Over The Top Services

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories