ZEE5 plans to enter TikTok territory with short video app Hypershorts

Less than a month after Google rolled out its TikTok-like video app for creators, homegrown OTT platform ZEE5 is treading a similar path with Hypershorts. The app launches later this year.

Homegrown OTT platform ZEE5 is developing a short-form video creation app to tap into the vast user-generated content segment.

It is the first step towards becoming a "super app for entertainment", company officials revealed at ZEE5's second anniversary celebrations in Mumbai recently.

'Hypershorts', the TikTok-like app, is still in the works and will be launched later in the year. It will offer up to 90-second videos created by celebrities, influencers, and common users.

The app will be free, to begin with, but its ad-supported format will eventually give way to a subscription-driven service, which is now the norm for OTT players.

Tarun Katial, CE0, ZEE5 India

Talking to the media, Tarun Katial, CEO of ZEE5 India, said:

"We want ZEE5 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."

Interestingly, ZEE5's development related to short-form video space comes soon after Google rolled out its new TikTok-like app Tangi, which works with creators to develop quick how-to videos on various themes.

ZEE5's growth

In two years, ZEE5 has surpassed 100 million downloads on Google Play Store – the third Indian video-streaming app after Hotstar and JioTV to achieve this feat.

The app recorded a peak of 11.4 million daily active users in December 2019, with an average of 140 minutes of watch time per viewer.

ZEE5, which is available in 190 countries, claims to be dishing out personalised content to nearly 1,200 audience segments with its diverse titles across languages and formats.

Katial explains,

"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 personalised notifications to consumers based on all these parameters."

ZEE5 also rolled out its revamped app, which promises to be 2X quicker and comes with a 3X faster video start. It also allows 2X data saving with video compression and hyper-personalised browsing experience.

Last June, the company had inked a strategic deal with Israel-based startup Applicaster to power its new app framework.

(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)


Updates from around the world