Telecom major Bharti Airtel and media and entertainment network ZEE Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL) have entered into a strategic alliance to drive the growth of digital and over-the-top (OTT) video content in India.
According to the deal, Airtel and ZEEL will work closely to curate digital/OTT video content solutions for customers across India.
The aim is to bring hundreds of millions of new users onto digital content platforms driven by rapid adoption of smart devices and wider availability of high-speed data services.
Airtel customers — both mobile and home broadband — will get exclusive access to premium content of ZEEL. Over the next three years, curated, select video content such as TV shows, original series, and movies produced by ZEEL will be exclusively available on Airtel’s digital properties such as Airtel TV, in addition to ZEE’s digital platform, ZEE5.
ZEEL and Airtel have devised a hybrid revenue share model. While the broadcaster will get a fixed amount for every time ZEEL content is consumed on Airtel’s platform, the Zee5 app will also be available as part of Airtel’s current Rs 499 pack, adding another revenue component.
Gopal Vittal, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of India and South Asia at Bharti Airtel, said: “Our endeavour is to build a world-class content ecosystem by partnering all players and enable a differentiated digital entertainment experience for our customers. In Airtel TV, we have built a solid digital platform to curate top content from India and across the world and offer it to customers at one place.”
Punit Goenka, MD & CEO at ZEE, said: “As a media and entertainment powerhouse, keeping our consumers at the epicentre of our approach, we aim to be present across platforms and our alliance with Airtel as their lead content partner is a firm and positive step in this direction. In line with our larger aim for ZEE5, to be a number one entertainment OTT player in the country, this alliance further compliments the access to our content for the overall digital consumers”.
The two will jointly pool their knowledge of customers and the content consumption preferences to offer them a customised and differentiated experience. In particular, there will be a strong focus on curating regional content, leveraging the strong regional portfolio of ZEEL.
This will also ride on ZEE5’s strategy of tailoring new content based on what customers are looking for and launching multiple original shows in six different languages every month.