Gurgaon-based mobile video streaming company ZengaTV claims to be well ahead of all its rivals with a monthly unique active user base of more than 22 million. In addition, according to Shabir Momin, MD and CTO, Zenga TV, this user base is generating around 325 million video views a month.
Founded in 2009, ZengaTV is an ad-supported video streaming tool that is completely free for the users, unlike all the other players that follow a subscription-based model. It offers both live and on-demand videos, Bollywood movies, music videos, Hollywood content, as well as TV serials. It had recently ventured into producing original content as well.
It offering include as many as 18,000 movie titles, 40,000 music videos and hundreds of TV channels. It was also the first company to stream IPL through mobile. Momin shared that Zenga TV has achieved this scale with zero marketing and all the growth has been organic, unlike competitors who indulge in huge marketing campaigns. "We have taken it slow and steady. It has taken us around two years to come to this scale but its sustainable now. We have been profitable for the last two years and have been doubling our revenues as well as user base every year."
He further shared that the company has been seeing a double digit positive profit after tax (PAT) and will be closing top line revenues of more than $5 million this financial year. Since the service doesn't charge users for any content, it makes money from ads, redistribution of content and data partnership with telcos. "We are one of the biggest partners of YouTube for redistribution of content." On being asked why they didn't look at a freemium model like peers, Momin stated, "That model is flawed. Users are charged whether the service works or not, we didn't want to make money like that." He added that they are not looking at making Zenga TV subscription-based anytime soon.
The company has been producing its own content and is seeing good traction for it as well. "Viewers today want original and niche content, which is why we decided to foray into this," Momin said.
While the company is not looking for funding and claims that its own accruals are enough to keep it going, it might consider raising capital if a good offer comes along. Similarly, they are opportunistic about acquisitions. "We are open to acquire technology companies that are doing something unique. Though we are not on a lookout, should a good merger opportunity come along we would be game for it," Momin stated.
Zenga competes with several other players like Spuul, Times Internet's BoxxTV, Eros Now, and BigFlix, but Momin maintains that they have a few advantages over others. "Firstly, none of the other players have their own technology backend. We run on our own technology while they use a third party platform. Secondly, our service is completely free for the users. Lastly, ours is the only video streaming service that has the capability to stream on even a 2.5G network directly from the browser." He added that Zenga consumes very low bandwidth which in turn results in users consuming more video data at the same price.
With all players fighting it out for user eyeballs, this is one sector that sure is heating up. Recently, we wrote about Spuul and how it is looking at introducing a cheaper, ad-supported subscription. Other players too have been upping their game, but Momin concluded saying there is enough space for all players as of now, and having more players only means that the market is growing.