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ZEE5 prepares to challenge TikTok and Instagram with Hypershots app




If you think about social-media platforms with a massive user engagement and user-generated content, Instagram and TikTok are likely the platforms to beat. Which is why companies are vying to compete in this space, especially considering TikTok’s massive popularity in the last year.

After producing 100-odd originals shows in the last two years, Zee Entertainment's digital entertainment platform, Zee5, is all set to compete with the likes of TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. It is launching short-form content, Hypershots, later this year. Hypershots will have 90-second user-generated content, which will be created by celebrities and commoners. Speaking to Business Today, Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India, says, "We want to be the super app of entertainment, a one-stop destination for digital videos. We don't want users to come to us only for long-form and go somewhere else for short-form. The digital ecosystem will make users come back more and more and their habit formation with ZEE5 will happen". To begin, with, Hypershots will have ad-supported content, but the intent is to become a subscription service in the long run.


“We want to be the super app of entertainment, a one-stop destination for digital videos,” Tarun Katial, CEO, ZEE5 India told Business Today. “We don’t want users to come to us only for long-form and go somewhere else for short-form. The digital ecosystem will make users come back more and more and their habit formation with ZEE5 will happen,” he added. Hypershots is being designed as a platform for ad-supported content. However, ZEE5 plans to turn it into a subscription platform eventually.


Read how ZEE5 plans to take on TikTok in India

ZEE5 is planning to launch at least 15 to 20 films a year as part of its investment in direct-to-digital films. This push will join the efforts where it offers live feeds of national and regional news channels such as Asianet, Suvarna, TV9 and Republic. “We already offer content in 14 languages and we will be soon offering content in Assamese too,” Katial told the business publication.

ZEE5 is also expanding its investment in technology while it continues to strengthen the content portfolio.

“We have invested in a consumer data platform which enables us to build smaller and smaller cohorts and segments. Somebody would be a TV show lover, some enjoy watching thrillers, while there is a segment which likes to watch new age women stories, there are language preferences too, also the frequency of usage. We are able to send personalized notifications to consumers based on all these parameters. We now operate in 1,200 segments of users,” Katial told Business Today.


ZEE5’s hopes with the Hypershots app are optimistic, to say the least. The platform currently boasts of about 9 million users — a number dwarfed by the 1 billion active users on Instagram, and 500 million on TikTok.


It will be interesting to see how Hypershots separates itself from the crowd of apps vying for user-interaction and attention.


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