NEW YORK–ZEE5, the world’s largest streaming service for South Asian content, launched in the U.S., opening up a world of multicultural entertainment for the South Asian diaspora and mainstream audiences across the United States.
“The launch of ZEE5 in the U.S. is a very significant moment for us,” said Amit Goenka, President, Digital Businesses & Platforms, ZEE Entertainment. “We’ve had a long association of over two decades with this market, bringing our viewers here the best of Indian entertainment through our channels. With ZEE5, we now look to offer both these audiences and the younger demographic access to a much wider choice of premium content with our Originals, digital premieres and more, on any screen of their choice and with a completely personalized viewing experience.”
ZEE5’s launch announcement was made by Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global, at a mega event attended by media and consumers from the U.S. and across the globe. She was joined by a special guest for the event, Actor, Producer, Activist and Entrepreneur Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas also joined Archana in unveiling ZEE5’s upcoming content slate and its new global brand campaign “Welcome to South Asia: Stories from our world.” The campaign spotlights stories from South Asia, where even ordinary stories are extraordinary, therefore leading to the narrative “if this is our reality, imagine our stories.”
The multiple announcements were interspersed with conversations between Archana Anand and Priyanka Chopra Jonas with the latter commenting on how streaming services have changed the landscape of content viewing, and on the hunger among South Asian communities to watch their own hyperlocal content and see themselves being represented to international audiences, and how streaming services were key in providing such a platform to help people feel represented.
“Bringing ZEE5 into the U.S. is so much more than just providing the South Asian diaspora here with a mega entertainment platform through which they can access a vast library of stories. It is a powerful bridge between them, their culture, and their languages. It is also a real-time connect between them and their families as they get to watch the same content across the ocean. And it is a platform through which their stories get showcased on an international stage,” said Anand. “With this and the rich library of shows we have, I am confident that we will become the preferred destination for South Asian content and woo both TV and Streaming loyalists across all age groups across both South Asian and mainstream audiences in the shortest possible time.”
As part of the launch, the streamer announced a line-up of Originals and other blockbusters, across languages to release on the platform in the coming months:
The upcoming magnum opus RRR from “Baahubali” filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli, starring N.T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, and Bollywood superstars Ajay Devgn and Alia Bhatt, in all South Indian languages.
Sunil Grover starrer Sunflower and Akshaye Khanna’s OTT debut State of Siege: Temple Attack.
New seasons of ZEE5 Originals Abhay 3, Rangbaaz 3, The Test Case S2, and Code-M S2.
Returning seasons of recently acquired TVF Originals Pitchers, Tripling, Humorously Yours, Aam Aadmi Family, and Engineering Girls available exclusively on ZEE5.
Pankaj Tripathi’s Kaagaz and Arjun Rampal’s Nailpolish.
Amitabh Bachchan starrer, the much-awaited film Jhund made by Nagraj Manjule.
Tamil Releases Handcuff, Blood Money, and Vinodhiya Chiththam.
Telugu releases Losers 2, Lol Salaam, Oka Chinna Family, and Net along with Shoot-out at Alair starring Prakash Raj.
Bangla releases: Ladies & Gentlemen, a 10-episode Bangla web-series directed by globally renowned director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki.
Pakistani releases: Asim Abbasi directed original series Churails, Mehreen Jabbar’s directorial venture Ek Jhoothi Love Story and Dhoop ki Deewar starring Sajal Aly and Ahad Raza Mir.
An Existing Treasure Trove of Stories
ZEE5 provides viewers with an unparalleled library of 130,000 hours of stories from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, spread across:
1600+ best-loved TV shows from Zee channels like Zee TV, Zee Telugu, Zee Tamil, Zee Bangla, and others
3500+ movies including some of the biggest Bollywood blockbusters
200+ Originals with some of the biggest Bollywood stars
600+ Music, health, and lifestyle videos to be added soon and more.
This content is available in Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, as well as Malay, Thai, Bahasa, Arabic, Urdu, and Bangla (Bangladeshi) with key titles dubbed and/or subtitled in English.
For Hindi speaking audiences, ZEE5 offers a range of content across formats including best loved dramas Kundali Bhagya, Kumkum Bhagya, and Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hai!.
The library also includes blockbuster films like Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, Uri: The Surgical Strike, Kedarnath, Simmba, and Dream Girl amongst others.
For its Telugu speaking audiences, ZEE5 brings the newly released Sita on the Road and other blockbuster movies like Naa Peru Surya Na Illu India, Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava, and Srimanthudu and shows like Krishna Tulasi, Mithai Kottu Chittemma, and more.
For Tamil speaking audiences, ZEE5’s vast library includes much loved shows like Sembaruthi, Rockstar, Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal, and Thirumathi Hitler among many other popular titles.
The Bengali community across the U.S. can now stream their favourite shows like Mithai, Kori Khela, and Rani Rashmoni, among others. ZEE5’s hit Original Bangladeshi productions, Contract, Jodi Kintu Tobuo, and Mainkar Chipay are also a must-watch.
Viewers can also watch a bouquet of Pakistani shows like Gauhar-E-Nayab, Teri Berukhi, and Mere Humdum Mere Dost, among others.
Seamless Access anywhere at a hugely affordable price:
Users can download the ZEE5 app from Google Play Store / iOS App Store, on Roku devices, Samsung Smart TVs, Apple TVs, Android TVs, and Amazon Fire Stick. ZEE5 is also available on www.ZEE5.com.
ZEE5 will be available at a highly affordable price of $6.99 for a monthly pack, and an annual pack heavily discounted from $84 to a very attractive $49.99 as an introductory offer. The platform also announced a special discount for the student community with the monthly pack priced at $4.99 instead of $6.99.
Canada: Calling out Canada as another focus market, ZEE5 also announced that it was available for Canadian audiences and that it would also be launching its campaign in Canada, thereby kicking off its marketing in the country. ZEE5 sees much potential in the country, given that it has a tremendous amount of content across languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Telugu, perfect for key diaspora audiences within the Canadian landscape.
Anand also called out a key strategic partnership that the streaming platform had locked in with NAAIS (North American Association of Indian Students), that will help ZEE5 build strong connects with a much younger audience.
As a registered non-profit, NAAIS today aims to connect, educate, and mobilize over 850,000 students and young professionals of Indian origin in the U.S. Over the next few months, ZEE5 will be exclusively partnering with NAAIS and work closely with Sudhanshu Kaushik, executive director of NAAIS across multiple initiatives, including student outreach programs across universities and colleges in the U.S. and numerous philanthropic endeavours, including COVID-19 relief efforts.
ZEE5 will also be partnering with MassMutual in the U.S. to reach the latter’s extensive South Asian customer database and jointly serve the South Asian community. ZEE5 and MassMutual share common goals to cater to the South Asian community with the tools and resources they both have to offer.