ZEE5’s aim is to become a Super app and HiPi, the company’s answer to TikTok, is part of the journey, Rajneel Kumar, Business Head – Expansion Projects and Head of Products, ZEE5 India told indianexpress.com.
“At Zee5, from the very inception, we always wanted to become a Super app. Over the last two and a half years, we have launched content from televisions, originals shows, live news, live TV, categories (kids, music videos, food), hypo casual gaming platform called play, and more as part of the journey to be a Super app,” Kumar said.
Last month, ZEE5 announced its rival to TikTok called HiPi. The platform is yet to be available in the country but the beta version will roll out in the next 15 days for the users to try out before the official launch.
Given the timing, it is natural to think that HiPi is a result of the TikTok ban. But that is apparently is not the case. “The timing is just coincidental and has nothing to do with the ban,” Kumar highlighted. He further added, “a product of this magnitude can’t be built overnight and put out.”
HiPi will not be a separate app. Instead, it will be a part of the ZEE5 application. This, Kumar said, is because the app already has 80 million active users and that will help in HiPi’s growth.
Initially, HiPi will be completely free for users with ads supported on the platform. However, next year the company has plans to bring various purchasing models within the platform including digital tipping, digital gifting, premium content available behind a subscription or transaction-based model.
For HiPi, ZEE5 has built a strong programme for creators to have a revenue share out of the content they put on the platform. The platform will also make it easy for advertisers to be able to find influencers and either sponsor their content or serve advertising. “We want to make HiPi meaningful for the creators who come to the platform and that’s how we differ from others,” Kumar said. HiPi will launch with about 300 influencers while nearly 200 more will be added very soon.
ZEE5 has also developed a complete manual + AI-driven content moderation strategy for HiPi which will ensure that not even one piece of content comes to the viewer without having been moderated. “Unlike other platforms, we don’t wait for someone to report and then take down the content. We would rather not have that content up until it is cleared,” Kumar highlighted and said content is the key for HiPi.
Kumar believes HiPi will set itself aside from other already existing Indian alternatives to TikTok by offering high-quality content and serving the creators.
“All other platforms doing video have their core DNA in technology and product and not content which is the key. We are a content company for the last many decades and are taking the same approach to the content which will be available in HiPi. We will also ensure that the content HiPi offers is high quality and caters to a wide set of audiences,” he explained.
HiPi will deliver all the basic features that a short video platform should have so users don’t need to relearn how to do things. At the same time, “we have a host of things planned around engagement like gamification, music, earning rewards, and more coming over the next year,” Kumar highlighted.
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