Another global streaming company picks up the pace in Australia

• Zee5 partners with Lebara Australia to grow subscriber base

• Lebara Australia subscribers can access 100,000 hours of Zee5 Originals, movies, TV programs and news content plus 60+ Live TV Channels

Zee5, the Indian digital entertainment platform from Zee Entertainment Enterprises, has signed a partnership with mobile virtual network operator Lebara Australia to bring the largest library of entertainment content for South Asians to Lebara customers.

Zee5 ranks as #2 streaming service in India, but #1 in the entertainment space. In terms of global streaming, the biggest Indian platforms rank just behind global leaders Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

“We have 76m+ active users globally and we are prolific creators of originals. We have a very comprehensive platform with the large number of languages we support,” Archana Anand (pictured), chief business officer, Zee5 Global told Mediaweek. The said the business was ambitious for global growth.

The #1 streaming service in India is Hotstar, which features exclusive sport including Premier League and some cricket. Zee5 doesn’t host any sport.

Available in 17 different languages, Zee5 offers subscribers 100,000 hours of on demand movies, originals, TV programs, videos and news content.

From September, Lebara Australia customers will be able to get a six-month Zee5 subscription bundled with select prepaid plans.

ZEE5’s entertainment content includes leading Hindi TV shows (eg Kum Kum Bhagya and Jodhaa Akbar), the latest ZEE5 Originals (eg The Final Call with Arjun Rampal, Kaafir with Dia Mirza) and 2000+ movies (e.g. Simba with Ranveer Singh, Kedarnath with Sara Ali Khan and Sushant Singh Rajput, and Veere Di Wedding with Kareena Kapoor Khan).

Popular Tamil TV shows, blockbuster Tamil films and Zee5 Originals are also available to subscribers, along with 60+ live streaming TV channels including India’s largest news stations.

Archana added: “With this partnership, we’re looking to increase our presence in Australia using Lebara Australia’s subscriber base which will now have access to the best of Indian entertainment on any device of their choice.”

Anand told Mediaweek Zee5 able to trade in many international markets easily because they own so much of the content. “An overwhelming majority of the content, with the exception of some of the live TV channels, is largely owned by us and the rights are not an issue.”

Ash Saini, general manager, Lebara Australia, said: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Zee5 in Australia and we cannot wait for all our users to sample the huge library of content that Zee5 has to offer.

“With a huge appetite for Indian entertainment amongst our ethnic market, we are very excited to launch our bundles with Zee5 subscriptions and we aim to ensure that every individual on the go uses Zee5 as a one stop destination to consume the best of Indian entertainment.”

It is part of Anand’s job to look after all its distribution partners. She explained that in Australia the audience is more likely to subscribe to Zee5, rather than stay on the free ad-funded tier. “It is a subscription driven market and that has been very heartening for us.

Anand said may people join the free service initially and it is then up to Zee5 to woo them to become a premium subscriber.

After launching in October 2018, Zee5 soon became the #1 streaming service in many of countries around India. “We then went after customers in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. Right now we are focusing on the Middle East market.”

Zee5 is available using Samsung Smart TVs, Apple TV, Android TVs and Amazon Fire TV, and via Google Play Store, iOS App Store and www.zee5.com.

Zee5 is available in 190+ countries in October 2018 with content across 12 languages; Hindi, English, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati & Punjabi, and now houses content across five international languages as well – Malay, Thai, Bahasa, German and Russian, taking its language count to 17.

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