In a first of its kind alliance, at least seen in India, two rival Over-The-Top (OTT) video streaming platforms, ZEE5 – owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and ALTBalaji – managed by Ekta Kapoor’s Balaji Telefilms Ltd, have joined hands to make content. This has been done with the aim to increase their subscription video-on-demand business in India. This alliance was announced this past week, where both the OTT platforms will be looking to leverage each other’s strength in the domain and will collaborate to create original content which will be only available on their respective platforms. This association is a collaborative process of co-understanding consumer insights and co-marketing to serve the viewer better and resulting in improved monetisation for both.

Their content sharing arrangement includes the co-creation of over 60 original content shows, which shall be exclusively available to the subscribers of both the platforms. That’s not all though; besides this, ZEE5 subscribers will get seamless access to ALTBalaji’s originals in addition to existing ZEE5 content.  This will help the OTT platform to also understand the kind of content the audience is interested in.

This is actually a great initiative taken by the OTT platforms which will only increase the competition in winning the bigger chunk of the market. With Netflix announcing its new originals and also announcing cheaper plans, it was really important for other OTT players to step up their game and keep up with the changing trends and try and keep up with the other players. This collaborative deal between ZEE5 and AltBalaji is a step in that direction as well. This will help them try and get new subscribers and it will also give the consumers a look at the kind of content they come up with and may help them strengthen their subscriber base.

Besides this, there was another win for ZEE Entertainment last week. The promoters of Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE) will sell an 11% stake in the media company to US-based financial investor Invesco Oppenheimer Developing Markets Fund for a consideration of Rs 4,224 crore. The move follows a nine-month search for a buyer as the parent Essel Group seeks to reduce debt by selling assets. The promoters are confident of selling a further 9% stake in ZEE by the September 30 deadline for debt repayments.

By – Amul Vikas Mohan

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