Javier Casella, GM US Hispanic & Latin America of ZEE Mundo, spoke with NexTV News Latam about the launch of ZEE Mundo Play, the new streaming platform that offers Bollywood movies and series in Spanish and HD. It is available since July and already has more than 3,000 subscribers.
Casella will participate in the next edition of NexTV CEO Latin America, the leading conference organized by Dataxis to be held on November 1 and 2 at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami.
– What was the motivation behind the launch of ZEE Mundo Play in Latin America?
It was the demand of the audience that wanted the channel but did not have access through traditional pay TV. Not only in the territories where we are, but also in countries that did not have distribution. In addition, it is a way to be at the forefront of the new TV viewing habits, anywhere and anytime.
ZEE Mundo Play has the linear channel, catchup and movies on demand, as a basic service. Once the users are subscribed, they can opt for series in a SVOD model, and films under a TVOD model.
– How many subscribers do you expect to reach in the first year of operation?
One month after launching we have more than 3,000 subscribers and we plan to reach 12,000 by the end of the year.
– Do you plan to integrate the service into digital platforms of pay TV operators?
ZEE Mundo Play is for B2C and B2B business models. In fact, we are already doing it with TV Cable Ecuador and with integrators VEWD and TOOLBOX, which serve a large part of the market.
-Is the platform offering contents specially produced or only available in the service?
The films that are offered on TVOD (rent for 24 hours), are not available on the channel or in SVOD, they are exclusive for the TVOD model. Shortly, we will have films with subtitles and they will be premieres and will be only available on ZEE Mundo Play.
– How do you see the OTT market in Latin America?
It is growing. OTT will be the new, cheaper and unattached option that people will have to watch TV. It is the dream of every pay TV subscriber 20 years ago. To pay for what you really want to watch. It could not be done before and to sustain the industry operators had to offer pay TV in those molds. There was no technology either, but now there is. The process in Latam is still slow, because the technology did not arrive, once it arrives it will be a reality with no return.
-How do you imagine that the clients will manage their subscriptions in an ecosystem with several OTT services?
As I said before, they will choose and make their own channel lineup. At the end, users may pay the average USD 30 per month, but they will feel that they chose and did not pay for something they did not want.
– How many households does the linear channel cover in Latin America?
Today we are reaching 3.2 million in 14 countries.
– Have you signed new distribution deal for the linear channel?
In June we launched the channel on satellite, in an economic format to capture small cable operators, we offer them ZEE Mundo at a fixed monthly initial cost of USD 100, with the decoder on gratuitous loan for use. From that date until today, we attract 40 new customers in six countries. In addition, of course, we are negotiating with all players in the market. We have commercial representatives in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Central America and the Caribbean, and soon we will have a representative in the Southern Cone.