South Asian streaming platform ZEE5 launched in the United States and Canada, opening up its trove of multicultural entertainment to the South Asian diaspora and mainstream audiences across North America.
International Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra Jonas was the special guest for the launch at a virtual event hosted by Archana Anand, Chief Business Officer, ZEE5 Global, attended by media and consumers from the US and across the globe. Priyanka also joined Archana in unveiling ZEE5’s upcoming content slate and its new global brand campaign 'Welcome to South Asia: Stories from our world'.
The announcements were interspersed with conversations between Archana and Priyanka, with the latter commenting on how streaming services have changed the landscape of content viewing, and on the hunger among South Asian communities to watch their own hyperlocal content and see themselves being represented to international audiences, and how streaming services were key in providing such a platform to help people feel represented.
Congratulating ZEE5, Priyanka Chopra Jonas said, “Wishing all the best to my friends at ZEE5 on their new launch. I have really enjoyed celebrating and spotlighting all the incredible talent from South Asia today. I look forward to watching these storytellers entertain new audiences around the world and will be cheering them on.”
Archana Anand added that bringing ZEE5 into the US was a bigger step for the platform than just providing the South Asian diaspora with entertainment and a vast library of stories.
"It is a powerful bridge between them, their culture, and their languages. It is also a real-time connect between them and their families as they get to watch the same content across the ocean. And it is a platform through which their stories get showcased on an international stage. With this and the rich library of shows we have, I am confident that we will become the preferred destination for South Asian content and woo both TV and streaming loyalists across all age groups across both South Asian and mainstream audiences in the US,” she added.
As part of the launch, the streamer announced a line-up of original shows and other blockbusters, across languages to release on the platform in the coming months, including the upcoming magnum opus RRR from 'Baahubali' filmmaker SS Rajamouli; Sunil Grover starrer Sunflower; Amitabh Bachchan starrer, the much-awaited film Jhund and a library of 130,000 hours of stories from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
“We’ve had a long association of over two decades with this market, bringing our viewers here the best of Indian entertainment through our channels. With ZEE5, we now look to offer both these audiences and the younger demographic access to a much wider choice of premium content with our Originals, digital premieres and more,” said Amit Goenka, president, Digital Businesses & Platforms, ZEE Entertainment.
This content is available in Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Punjabi, as well as Malay, Thai, Bahasa, Arabic, Urdu, and Bangla (Bangladeshi) with key titles dubbed and/or subtitled in English.
ZEE5 also announced that it was available for Canadian audiences and that it would also be launching its campaign in Canada, thereby kicking off its marketing in the country.
Archana also spoke about a key strategic partnership that the streaming platform had locked in with North American Association of Indian Students (NAAIS).
Over the next few months, ZEE5 will be working closely with Sudhanshu Kaushik, executive director of NAAIS, across multiple initiatives, including student outreach programs across universities and colleges in the US and numerous philanthropic endeavours, including COVID-19 relief efforts.