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ZEE5 plans to take on TikTok with short video app Hypershorts


To take on the popular short video platform TikTok, over-the-top streaming platform ZEE5 will soon launch its short-video sharing app Hypershorts.

The app, which is in the beta stage, will have up to 1.5 minutes or 90-seconds of user-generated content. According to the company, the new app will go live by March-end. 

Initially, Hypershorts will have ad-supported content, which will further become a subscription service in the long run. 

With this app, ZEE5 aims to increase its user base and engagement metrics on the platform.

Responding to Entrackr’s query, Tarun Katial, CEO of ZEE5, confirmed the development.

“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,” said Katial.

It will also bring our influencers, stars and characters together to interact with users and run challenges from time to time, he added.

The company has also earmarked capital expenditure in excess of Rs 100 crore for the platform. ZEE5 will use about 60% of the amount to beef up content, 20 per cent to enhance technology and the rest for marketing and sales.

As of December 2019,  ZEE5 had over 70 million MAUs and 100 million downloads on Google Playstore. It claims to have produced 10X times more originals compared to any other OTT platforms in India

Bytedance-owned TikTok has witnessed a meteoric rise, giving tough competition to several social media apps, including Facebook. 

Facebook has also been planning to launch a short video platform on similar lines. Entrackr had first reported the development. 

According to many industry experts, the Chinese-owned social media app has emerged as the most obvious threat to Facebook and its ecosystem’s dominance in India. TikTok has also been monetising its product since last year in India.

The company earned about Rs 23 to 25 crore in revenue in the quarter ending December 2019 and aims to cross Rs 100 crore in the July-Sep quarter this year.

In the past couple of years, TikTok has recorded unprecedented growth in India as well as in the global market. TikTok has gained about 200 million users in India in the last two years. In 2019, TikTok downloads in India stood at 323 million out of 1.65 billion downloads globally, according to Sensor Tower data.

In terms of user-base, TikTok is only behind Facebook’s estimated 300 and WhatsApp’s 400 million users. 

And with OTT platform ZEE5 joining the short video space, competition is only going to get fierce in the coming years.

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