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ZEE To Dip Toes Into The Metaverse With NFTs From Movies, TV Shows, Web Series

ZEE To Dip Toes Into The Metaverse With NFTs From Movies, TV Shows, Web Series

The primary focus for ZEE to create a metaverse is to increase customer retention on its platform

The media company will be bringing a set of NFTs from TV shows, movies, music and original web series

ZEE had recently launched a technology and innovation centre in Bengaluru

ZEE Entertainment has become the next big entertainment house to have expressed its intent to enter the metaverse with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Talking with Moneycontrol, Nitin Mittal, president of Technology and Data, ZEE, said that the company will be entering the metaverse soon.

“Metaverse of Zee will bring a combination of the physical and virtual ecosystems into a new universe. We are creating metaverse as a platform to bring new-age creators,” he added.

ZEE had recently launched a technology and innovation centre in Bengaluru, hiring more than 700 people to work on the company’s various IPs such as ZEE5 and now the metaverse project. 

The new centre has teams in the areas of design, product, engineering and data.

“We have hired over 500 people and are in the process of hiring a similar number this year. We are adding capabilities for gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality and metaverse.”

The media house’s metaverse will also be developed at the said centre in Bengaluru. 

The primary focus for ZEE to create a metaverse is to increase customer retention on its platform. Mittal said that while the user does come for content, a good user experience will keep them on the platform for longer.

For that, ZEE will be bringing digital collectables. It will help the media house to drive key consumer factors such as premium subscriptions and fan engagement. According to Mittal, NFTs will come from movies, music, TV shows and digital original web series.

For now, ZEE is planning NFTs in each of the said verticals with a small cohort. The media company is expected to bring out the NFTs in the coming quarter.

According to the Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, India’s OTT market is set to grow at 21% annually to be valued at about $2 Bn by 2024.

He had also spoken about metaverse in OTT at the ‘India Forum’ in Cannes recently, saying that it, along with AI and VR, will drive possibilities in the field.

The interest in web3, especially the NFTs and the metaverse, has seen a significant amount of venture capital funding flow into startups that have been working in these verticals. One of the largest funding rounds happened in March 2022, when FanCraze, a cricket NFTs and metaverse startup, raised $100 Mn.

Big Indian Corporates And Metaverse – A Refresher

ZEE is hardly the first legacy media house to consider a venture into the metaverse. 

For instance, T-Series said that it has partnered with HEFTY Entertainment, a division of entertainment company Hungama, to create an NFT ecosystem in January this year. 

Again, T-Series and ZEE are not the only big Indian corporates looking at the metaverse as a monetisation opportunity.

For companies such as Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, two of India’s largest telcos, the metaverse and related applications represents an opportunity to monetise their existing assets. The metaverse will increase data usage by 20 times in the next decade, according to Credit Suisse, and the direct beneficiaries are the telcos.

Jio tested a multiplayer cloud gaming experience recently, along with testing out immersive reality experiences. Jio had also invested $15 Mn in Two Platforms Inc (TWO), a California-based deeptech startup working in web3. 

Airtel has been playing around with the metaverse and similar applications as well, testing out its own cloud gaming experience last year.

On the other hand, for companies such as Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the metaverse represents another avenue to explore and monetise. The three of them have already brought out their metaverses this February, with very different use cases ranging from online shopping to workplace enhancements.

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