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Value of Rs 499 plan not limited to Radhe, says Zee5’s Manish Kalra

The platform hopes to boost subscriber base with the new combo offer

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KOLKATA: The Covid2019 pandemic has rewritten many rules of the media and entertainment sector. One of the most noticeable trends has been direct-to-digital releases throughout 2020 in India as well as globally. While Salman Khan’s upcoming blockbuster Radhe was supposed to release in theatres only, it has turned out to be the first film in India to take multi-format route. With the moving coming to be showcased on Zee5, the platform has rolled out a new yearly subscription pack at Rs 499, bundling Radhe to boost its subscriber base.

The OTT has also scored 50+ theatrical releases across languages for the year. Moreover, it will launch 40-50 original shows throughout 2021. Hence, the entertainment value of the new plan is much higher than only one view of Radhe, Zee5 India chief business officer Manish Kalra said.  

Inquired about the promotion plans for the new subscription plan, it is all about Salman Khan and his equity, Kalra commented. “Obviously Radhe is a big driver. Indian consumers have been starved of good quality content for last few months with such a big blockbuster coming and consumer getting access to it, we want to ensure that we are able to reach out to all the fan of the franchise and give them this high value package. That will happen 360 degrees – that is TV or digital or any medium where the consumers are. We want to ensure we send the message out that with Radhe, they also get access to the entire library,” he noted.

“The assumption is if you are a fan and you want to buy a good value added package, you will buy the subscription and watch it. The objective remains to leverage the asset to create a win-win situation for all of us. Consumers get to watch content from the comfort of their home, we get to tie-up with new users and it kind of becomes a long-term relation for us,” said Kalra when asked if the plan will increase the subscriber base of the platform.

Along with a wider library, Zee5 is looking at a deeper language library too. The platform is focusing highly on Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada market and will launch original series, movies, bring theatrical releases. Kalra is of the view that the next round of growth for Zee5 will come from these markets. While Hindi continues to lead, Telugu, Bengali, Tamil are the highest growing languages for the platform in terms of consumption, time spent, number of users coming in.

To reach the hinterlands of India, the streamer is not only strengthening its content library but looking at financial inclusion. It entered a partnership with retail network Sahaj to get access to more than 76,000 gram panchayats, and over 96,000 tier-3 and tier-4 rural locations. Kalra said more such retail partnerships are in offing.

“The objective is to reach out to people in a format they are comfortable with. The intent from our perspective is to enable the users, empower them with more and more access whether it is through their internet provider or telecom provider or they directly want to pay and subscribe. The objective remains how we reach more and more users across India,” he noted.

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