ZEE5 has launched a customized app for KaiOS-powered Jio Phones in a bid to bring the streaming service to JioPhone’s 40 million users. “We are focused on bridging the digital entertainment divide between metros, semi-urban and rural markets,” ZEE5’s India head Tarun Katial said in a statement. The app will be useful for tapping regional audiences, he said. The app offers content of Zee Entertainment’s Hindi and regional channels, music, and movies.

Its worth noting that ZEE5 and Jio already have a deal where content from Zee Entertainment’s 37 TV channels can be streamed on native Jio apps. JioPhones come with several pre-installed apps including video-streaming apps JioCinema and JioTV. In August last year, Reliance had announced JioPhones would soon support YouTube, apart from Facebook and WhatsApp.

For all practical purposes, ZEEL’s content is already available on Jio’s native apps; its possible that ZEE5 sees an advantage in building a customized, standalone app to offer only ZEEL’s content on the JioPhone. ZEE5 may be pushing its originals, especially given its regional content, to JioPhone users, as they stream only on the app. ZEE5 claims to be the “only OTT platform” creating content in 6 Indian languages.

ZEE5 launched Rangbaaz, Karenjit Kaur S2 and Babbar Ka Tabbar S2 in Hindi, Chitra Vichitram and B. Tech in Telugu, What’s Up Velakkari and Alarm in Tamil, Date with Saie in Marathi and Kaali in Bengali….Fast paced thrillers like Kaali and Date with Saie have set the expectations high for the regional audience.
From ZEEL’s Q4 2018 Earnings report
(emphasis ours)

At last count in December, ZEE5 had 56.3 million MAUs (up by 36% over July-Sept 2018) who spent an average of 31 minutes on the platform per day. This number does not include its partnerships with telecom companies like Vodafone Idea and Airtel.

Internet usage and video consumption: Video streaming is a primary use case for new and existing internet users in India; Indian smartphone users spent an average of 35.8 minutes per day on video-streaming apps, they spent lesser time on making calls or gaming; time spent on browsing the web fell to 17.3 minutes a day from 24.3 minutes.

JioPhone top feature phone in 2018

The JioPhone is a KaiOS powered device which enables smartphone-like features and native apps into low-cost feature phones. Within six months of its 2017 launch, the JioPhone became the top feature phone brand in India by shipments for Q4 2017, overthrowing market leader in the segment Samsung. In 2018, feature phone shipments grew as much as smartphone shipments in India. It’s worth noting that Reliance Jio captured 38% of the feature phone market, increasing its share from 11% in 2017. In fact, research shows that KaiOS powered devices accounted for almost half of the 100 million subscribers Jio added since launch in 2017.