The digital arm of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, Zee New Media, has been busy for the last few months experimenting with over the top TV (OTT), Ditto TV. New as a concept to India, an OTT distribution platform offers Live TV and video on demand (VOD).
In an announcement on February 29, 2012, Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, ZEEL, said, “The OTT category presents a powerhouse of potential and adds an exciting new dimension to Zee’s business model. As a pioneer in the entertainment and content business, we have been systematically investing in our digital outreach. Ditto TV was created to bring cutting edge wireless broadband digital services to customers across the world. This is a launch I am excited about. Ditto TV will transform the way content is consumed and monetised and we are thrilled to be at the helm of the revolution.”
Zee is expecting this digital initiative to be become around 10 per cent of its overall revenues.
OTT will enable ZEEL’s content from leading genres such as GEC, sports, lifestyle and news to be taken across platforms such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, entertainment boxes and connected TVs. It will also give users complete freedom to create their own channel packages.
Currently hosting a total of 21 channels, Ditto TV has already partnered for content with Multi Screen Media (Sony Entertainment Television), TV Today Network, BBC, and ZEE. Ditto TV expects to offer a complete set of 50 channels shortly.
Another amongst industry firsts, Ditto TV offers features such as adaptive streaming, an elaborative electronic programme guide, a content recommendation engine and an elegant user interface, all of which will be integral to enhance the user experience.
Moreover, it allows for complete customization, both in cost as well as choice of content- users are given the option to handpick a basket of channels as per their own personal preferences. Different price points offer absolute control of channel selection, with prices starting as low as Rs. 49.
Vishal Malhotra, Business Head - New Media at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd further elaborates, “Ditto TV offers extreme versatility- both, in terms of content as well as device and bandwidth compatibility. With the increasing number of smart phone users, Ditto TV will allow subscribers to access premium content from across the world, at the simple click of a button. For partners, it will create unique revenue generation opportunities– namely, for content owners, distributors, retail, OEMs, and service providers.”
Ditto TV has partnered with Siemens Communication and Media Technology to develop a strong technology platform that will offer adaptive streaming. This technology ensures an optimal feed basis the available bandwidth strength and allows users to select the feed based on their data connection which includes 3G, Wi-Fi and fixed line broadband connections.
Commenting on the partnership, Daniel Rui Felicio, CEO, Siemens – CMT, said, “Siemens is excited to be associated with Ditto TV- our superior technology paired with Zee New Media’s innovation has resulted in a distribution platform that offers consumers a truly next-gen viewing experience.”
Ditto TV, as an application, is available on leading application stores viz. Apple App Store, Android Market, & BlackBerry Application World; Ditto TV’s prepaid cards will be retailed at high footfall outlets like Croma and Vijay Sales with whom Ditto TV has entered a distribution alliance.
Along with activations in key areas around the city, Manoj Padmanabhan, Vice President – Marketing (Digital), Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, also added also that, “We would definitely use print especially, from a branding perspective. We also have our own set network of channels and we can use them. We would also focus more on the digital side because that is place where a consumer is hooked on.”
Commenting on the retail partnership, Ajit Joshi, CEO & MD, Infiniti Retail Ltd, said, “We are pleased to partner with Zee New Media for this unique initiative to get live content on to mobile devices. In line with its philosophy of helping consumers buy, Croma is always keen to partner in innovative initiatives like Ditto TV that get new benefits to consumers.”
When asked whether an video on demand offering similar to Hulu could be created for the Indian market, Malhotra commented, “Well Hulu is already in trouble, so the partners are already in terms of separating out over there. It’s a difficult one. I don’t think it will happen very easily in India.”