Zoom Studios launches B2B division for OTT players and also gets into syndication

With B2C, B2B and syndication plans, Zoom Studios intends to grow its subscriber base 3-4 times higher than it presently is reveals Nikhil Gandhi, President- Revenue, Times Network

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 3, 2019 8:14 AM
Nikhil Gandhi

Zoom Studios turned one recently and clocked 80 million views and one million+ subscribers on YouTube channel and Facebook page. For the next year, the channel is getting into the B2B space by creating content for other OTT players while strengthening their B2C model further and will introduce 8-10 shows this year. While speaking about Zoom Studios’ growth projections in the coming year, Nikhil Gandhi, President- Revenue, Times Network, also mentioned how they are getting into the syndication space as well in the overseas market.

Speaking about the same, Gandhi explained, “We are largely now B2C model. There is a great amount of appetite for content consumption that you have all noticed with the advent of OTT space which is completely backed by the fact that the data consumption in our country is exploding. So we are capitalizing on that. We want to take the current subscriber base 3-4 times higher than what it is. We intend to create 8-10 new shows this year with new formats.”

Apart from that, Gandhi also introduced the new B2B division that they have launched wherein they will create content for other OTT players. “On the other hand, with the success of Zoom Studios, many of OTT platforms have approached us to create content for them. That gave us the idea to launch the B2B division that will help us to focus on building content. We will lend our brand of storytelling to them in a very completely different format by either co-own the IP or retain the IP. We have currently inked a big deal with a very prominent player for three shows, to begin with, which will happen for next 12-24 months.”

The other model we also built is syndication. My content is getting syndicated across the world. Many platforms are talking to us to buy my show. There are multiple models are evolved as far as B2C is concerned,” When asked if any of the syndication deals were closed so far, Gandhi said, “Syndication deal is under process. We are not interested in a single show deal. We at least want to create about 6 shows, at least which makes sense to give a package. We are presently working on one deal in the US and two deals in South East Asia.”

When asked why to choose YouTube channel over MX Player, Gandhi said, “While MX Player is a part of the same group, we work at an arm's length because it is a different division altogether. Two is we have a phenomenal legacy as far as YouTube is a concern. Before Zoom Studios, we used to dish out about 50 videos on YouTube every day. We are looking to make this model successful, the platform is not really the question. It is about how we build and give it the maximum amount of exposure as far as digital is concerned. So I will not restrict myself to keep the content one particular platform. I want to make sure that Zoom Studios content is available across the board and is given the maximum amount of exposure as far as the consumer is concerned. But, I will have one destination where it gets maximum exposure, to begin with, in order to get it established and then it can travel from platform to platform.”

Gandhi revealed how the demography watching the originals on Zoom Studios channel on YouTube have a 50:50 ratio between males and females. While the content they are creating for OTT platforms is in Hindi, there are also some who are looking to get into the regional space with Zoom Studios. Eventually, they have plans to make regional content as well. Apart from that, Zoom Studios also wants to get short form content as well with many storytellers already pitching their ideas.

Speaking about how the content has fared on the TV channel, Gandhi reveals, “It does better than our average rating. On television when it comes to youth space, the ratings don’t generally matter. We go after reach. If you put the TV reach and Digital reaches together, it is a win-win for all brands. Unlike any other brands, we also have a TV channel. That gives us leverage so the quantum of deals we do is 5X to any other channel on YouTube. On Television, the sales have been phenomenal. We moved our rate by almost 2X than what it was earlier. Our business in the top line has grown by 67 per cent compared to last year. We are also now venturing out into a division called Zoom Live.”

Has TRAI’s NTO impacted the channel in any way? “In the first month when the migration was happening, there was an impact and it was expected. We believe that it will take two more weeks to settle down. All the channels have come to a new threshold now. In fact, we have seen a lot of new trends emerging. For us, we being in the urban area, we have seen a lot of people subscribe to our business, which is also a success parameter for us and so our reach is not that affected,” Gandhi informed.

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