The Indian company continues to grow in international distribution and will be presenting new titles at Cannes, including the series Never Kiss your Best Friend, Ser and Carmen, among others.
As the world’s largest audiovisual producer, India provides a prolific supply of content for the international market, and among the country’s flagship companies is Zee.
“It has been an interesting year for Zee, in which we continue to evolve, to be in sync with international audiences and how they choose to consume our content,” told Manoj Mathew, Zee’s Executive Vice President & Territory Head (MENAPT & Americas), to ttv.
“With the advent of new technologies, forms of distribution, the arrival of new players and the demand for new programming, we have experienced growth across all verticals,” added the executive.
In this regard, the company has focused on markets such as Latin America and the US Hispanic market.
“Those are our focus markets for various reasons. We see many similarities between Spanish and Indian cultures, such as strong extended family ties, the respect for tradition, living in hectic cities amidst economic development, and aspirational desires,” explained Mathew.
“Our content allows Latin American families to consume series and movies that are relevant to their lifestyle while, at the same time, being transported to far away, exotic locales and landscapes,” he added.
For the executive, Latin America, US Hispanics and Spain are territories with the largest, most homogeneous and advanced media markets in the world. This results in an interest for the Indian company to strengthen partnerships, not only for the distribution of content, but also for co-production alliances.
“They are markets where content can travel seamlessly, so we are keen in partnering to co-produce our scripts in the region with local talent,” highlighted the executive.
In these markets, Zee works with all types of outlets: broadcasters, pay TV programmers, OTT platforms and aggregators. “We have partnered with local producers and broadcasters in Middle East to create wonderful adaptations of Zee’s original scripts like Ser, Carmen & Al-Forsa Al-Akhira to name a few,” he expressed.
Gearing up for Mipcom 2022, Zee will be presenting at Cannes new releases that include several titles shot on international locations, such as Never Kiss your Best Friend, a romantic web-series produced in UK, Ser, a gripping thriller filmed in Lebanon, and the comedy series Carmen, shot in Egypt.
“We are showcasing hand-picked stories that appeal to the international audiences and have been produced with an extraordinary attention to production detail,” remarked Mathew.
“We hope that Mipcom should achieve the kind of scale that the industry used to be back before the pandemic. We are looking forward to meeting many of our existing partners after a long hiatus & are keen to get into collaborations with them to create entertaining and varied content for the global audiences”.
In addition to Mipcom, this year Zee will be present in Latin America at MipCancun, as well as at Natpe Bahamas in January 2023.
As for Asia-Pacific, the company will be participating in the Asia TV Forum in Singapore, while for the Africa and Middle East region, it will be present at Discop in Kigali and DICM in Dubai, respectively.
In this new post-pandemic normality, international content distribution, like so many other industries, has experienced an accelerated transformation.
“While content distribution has become a more virtual experience than before the pandemic, we see a big comeback of the traditional in-person markets,” observed the executive.
“The greatest opportunity for growth lies in the ongoing transformation of the industry, including the still growing demand for local exclusive content by competing SVOD platforms and the corresponding increase in the production of content in LatAm and other European markets. This is where we see great potential for growth by partnering with local producers,” he concluded.