We missed this earlier

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has launched a streaming service called ZEE5. It will offer over 90 live TV channels, TV shows (both Indian and International), movies, original shows and other videos. Currently, the platform operates on a freemium model, with the paid premium section offering five original shows; movies such as Moonlight and Pelé; TV shows like Doctor Foster, War & Peace, and The Young Pope; five Zee Theatre Plays; and Zindagi Digital shows among others. Interestingly, some of the movies and TV shows listed in the premium section that I tried to play was accessible even though I haven’t subscribed.

As of now, there seems to be only one subscription plan on offer – a one-month all-access plan priced at Rs 99. This is the launch offer price and will later be increased to Rs 150, though it’s not clear when that will be. However, the FAQ section mentions three-months, six-months and one-year subscription plans, so possibly these will be introduced at a later date. Oh, and in case you have a dittoTV subscription (ZEEL’s SVOD platform for live TV), you can use that on ZEE5.

It’s worth noting that ZEE5 allows the user to set both the display language (Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Marathi, Tamil, and Gujarati, besides English), and content language (Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Marathi, Tamil and Oriya, besides English).

The ZEE5 app is available on both the Play Store and the App Store, and the service can also be accessed via the website. You can stream ZEE5 via Chromecast as well.

For select content on ZEE5, the download and watch offline option is available as well, but it is available only on the app and not the web.

Note that ZEEL’s ad-supported video-on-demand (VOD) platform OZEE now redirects to ZEE5. However, it’s live TV streaming platform dittoTV is still operational, though the website mentions that “dittoTV will soon be upgrading to ZEE5.”

ZEE5 content plans

In November last year, ZEEL’s MD and CEO, Punit Goenka had said that “in terms of content, for now, I can tell you it will be completely unrivaled amount of content that we will put on the platform, which no other OTT platform will be able to match”, adding that “all of the content that we create internally will be exclusive. All of the content that we produce in terms of films going forward will be exclusive. In terms of content that we have licensed from international studios, could be exclusive or non-exclusive depending on the kind of deals that are coming.”

Zee’s digital plans

In July last year, Zee had said that it will be merging its digital media and entertainment business undertakings of Zee Digital Convergence Ltd, including dittoTV and OZEE, and vesting it with the parent company ZEEL. It’s worth noting that for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 (Q3FY18), ZEEL mentioned that OZEE had registered an average of 145 million video views per month during the quarter, which was up 26% from the previous quarter. It didn’t, however, divulge any numbers for dittoTV.

Overall, ZEEL reported consolidated revenues of Rs 1838 crore for the quarter, as compared to Rs 1582 crore in the preceding quarter, and Rs 1639 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.