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The Zoom Studios eyes growth in B2B content production

The company will either retain or co-own the IP.

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MUMBAI: In a short span of one year, Zoom’s original content arm The Zoom Studios has witnessed a spurt in viewership and subscriber base on its YouTube channel and Facebook page. On the back of its youth-oriented content, the B2C business of the one-year-old content studio has been booming. Now, The Zoom Studios is eying the B2B side where it will focus on creating content for other OTT players or content platforms.

“What has happened with the success of shows of Zoom Studios is that many of the OTT players and content platforms have approached us to create content for them and that gave us the idea of launching the B2B division which will focus on building content for the OTT players or other content platforms like broadcasters or YouTube channels,” Times Network revenue president Nikhil Gandhi said.

“We are going to lend our brand of storytelling to them in a completely different manner where either we retain the IP or co-own the IP. So, the Zoom Studios brand also goes on these platforms. We have currently one big deal with a very prominent OTT player for three shows to begin with, and that should happen in next 12-24 months,” he added.

The new contender in the content creation space has completed the first year with a whopping 80+ million views, over 1 million subscriber base on The Zoom Studios’ YouTube channel and Facebook page and 414.8 million minutes of content viewing of its four originals. Gandhi said the aim is to grow the current subscriber base by 3X or 4X and create eight to ten new shows with some underway.

The first four shows are youth-centric but the B2B space allows them to push the envelope. He also added that there are two platforms for whom which they are creating Hindi shows only. But there is one platform that wants the content studio to look at the regional space, something which Zoom isn’t confident of now but is likely in the future.

Since The Times Group also has MX Player one would wonder why Zoom Studios is restricting itself to YouTube and focussing on external partnerships. Explaining the rationale, Gandhi said the two divisions work at an arm’s length. Moreover, he added that the legacy of Zoom’s success on YouTube is one of the prime reasons for keeping content there.

“The platform is not a question. It’s about how do we make and build and give it maximum exposure as far as digital is concerned. I am not going to restrict myself and keep it available only on a particular platform. We want to make sure this studio’s content is available across the world and it’s given the maximum amount of exposure. But I will have one destination where it gets maximum amount of exposure to begin with and it gets established and then it can travel from platform to platform,” he commented.

Original shows from The Zoom Studios which air on the channel after going live on digital have got equally good response on TV too, as per Gandhi. He also highlighted that Zoom’s business on topline has grown by 67 per cent over last year. Talking about the TRAI tariff order’s impact on the ecosystem, he affirmed that Zoom’s reach did not get affected due to the new regime.

The Zoom Studios is primarily banking on brands from the commercial sector in the B2C front. Gandhi said despite Myntra being a larger conversation, other brands have also tied up for other shows. However, he added that a syndication model is also being built. He added that many platforms are now talking to Zoom Studios to buy their shows whether it’s in south-east Asia, Europe, the US or the Middle east.

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