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Monday, July 26, 2021

‘We hope people come to watch Friends Reunion and stay for TVF stories’

Zee5 India Originals Head, Nimisha Pandey, talks about the partnership with TVF, the OTT space and the need for diverse content

Written by Ektaa Malik | New Delhi |
June 16, 2021 4:25:38 pm
TVF-ZEE5_2x1The OTT space was anyway an emerging market for India, but the pandemic just accelerated our growth in a crazy way.

Zee5 has partnered with The Viral Fever(TVF) to broadcast their content on the Zee5 streaming platform. Thirteen titles, including Tripling and Permanent Roommates, will be available on Zee5. Launching in the OTT space in 2018, the platform recently streamed much-awaited releases, including the Friends Reunion episode in India, which reportedly garnered more than a million views on the launch day, and Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, the big Eid release starring Salman Khan, directed by Prabhu Deva. We spoke to Nimisha Pandey, Head, Hindi Originals Zee5, on the recent collaboration, the OTT space, and the evolution of the Indian audience.

Tell us more about the collaboration between Zee5 and TVF.

We take a lot of pride to bring together two Indian desi brands. We are two homegrown Indian success stories in the field of storytelling. It’s very organic and also highly strategic. TVF and the DNA of their storytelling is very heartwarming, very relatable and inspiring at the same time— sunshine stories, which are the need of the hour. Additionally, their content is also introducing us to a new set of taste clusters, and the TVF content also diversifies our library at Zee5.

Zee5’s content curation has an interesting mix. While one one hand you have the international Friends Reunion on the other there is a big Salman Khan film.

OTT platforms are a democratic space — a 15-year-old girl from Lucknow, a teenager from Delhi and a 35-year-old man from Mumbai could all be watching the same content. This is the rise of taste clusters and they have broken down the old TV mantra of demographics, when we said that ‘oh, this will work in tier-2 or tier-3 cities’. This will only grow and it has been the biggest revelation for us in the evolution of the OTT space. We wanted to have diverse content. We hoped that people who came to watch the Friends Reunion stay and engage with TVF stories.

Nimisha_Pandey Zee5 India Originals Head, Nimisha Pandey shares about the recent collaboration, the OTT space, and the evolution of the Indian audience.

We now have more than 10 OTT platforms in India, both national and international. What has been the biggest learning for OTT creators?

It’s an ongoing journey, we are still figuring out the medium. That said, the early adapters of the medium only expected a certain kind of an audience to engage with on the OTT space and consume content. The young and the male-skewed audience per se. But the people have surprised us, OTT is a huge phenomena in the tier two cities of India. The assumptions and hypotheses surrounding OTTs are challenged and changed everyday. We have learned that the super niche stories and narratives alone won’t work. We have to talk to a broader audience and have diverse content.

The OTT space in India is seeing an unprecedented boom. Is that also due to Covid?

The OTT space was anyway an emerging market for India, but the pandemic just accelerated our growth in a crazy way. We witnessed a 200 per cent growth. The medium has been growing nonstop.

What are the other titles that we can expect from Zee5.

We will soon stream Dhoop Ki Deewar, a Pakistani show that will come out on June 25. The second part of State of Siege will also come out.

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