India’s economy and the media & entertainment sector continue to show tremendous resilience. Reforms such as passage of GST bill presented challenges in the short-term. However, the economy withstood the test and continues to promise strong growth. Similarly, while all the industries faced the macroeconomic pressures, the M&E industry continued to grow in double digits.
We at Zee Media, amidst all these circumstances, continued to grow from strength to strength. Over the years, we have been investing in regional as well as language portfolio to increase market penetration. Continuing with this philosophy, we launched three new regional channels to complete the missing pieces in our bouquet.
With 14 television channels under our umbrella, along with digital properties, it was imperative that we extract the full synergistic potential of the network. Therefore, we managed to successfully integrate the newsrooms of all our properties to create India’s largest Integrated Multimedia Newsroom. This initiative provides each of our properties with an access to our huge and ever-increasing content repository and newsgathering resources.
We understand that the core of our business is to engage our audiences with relevant content at relevant time and place. Moreover, news credibility is a bigger challenge in this Digital Age. This is where we believe that IMN provides the organisation with a cutting edge over competition through its highly efficient and vast network. Going forward, it will also act as a catalyst for creating future-ready journalists in line with the changing dynamics of the industry.
Every organisation needs a tipping point, which propels it onto a high growth path. For ZMCL, 2017-18 was such a year that witnessed the unlocking of true potential of our flagship channel Zee News, of our regional channel bouquet and of our digital portfolio.
Zee News continued with its journey of content innovation, be it election programming in the form of “Game of Gujarat” or war zone coverage from Syria or celebration of women power through India’s 1st ever “Fairplay Awards” recognising successful female athletes. Consequently, Zee News remained the preferred choice of urban as well as prime time audience and commanded the highest stickiness throughout the year.
Aided by a focused approach, most of our regional channels gained leadership positions in viewership. Suitably complemented by regional penetration of sales force, the gain in viewership clearly reflected in our top line too.
We further strengthened our television portfolio with the launch of 2nd National Hindi news channel, Zee Hindustan, and three new regional channels - Zee 24 Kalak (Gujarati), Zee Salaam (Urdu) and Zee Uttar Pradesh Uttarakhand (Hindi).
During the year, the organisation focused on alignment of its resources in line with the changing dynamics of industry and towards building a Digital Future. To get ahead of the competition in this race, the organisation is focusing on the next 500 million internet users who will be non-English users. Therefore, while we strengthened the Hindi, Bengali and Marathi sites residing under zeenews.com, we also launched five new language sites - Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Gujarati - under the same umbrella. The results have been quite promising with zeenews.com witnessing a three-fold increase in traffic within 15 months till March 2018.
During the year, we took giant strides towards developing the ability to create and disseminate original content in video formats for digital platforms. This will ensure that ZMCL continues to provide News first across formats (Linear / Non-Linear) and across devices.
Today, we believe we have laid the groundwork and are on a very strong footing to surpass our contemporaries in the news industry to enter a new orbit of growth. This growth will be complemented by continuous investment in people and technology and we will ensure that we lead the bandwagon in terms of operational efficiency as well.
I am thankful for the continued confidence and trust placed in us by our shareholders and other stakeholders. Our vision is not to be a mere market leader. We are also innovators, a vital part of our DNA that helped us usher a new era as the 1st private news broadcaster in the country. Therefore, with the same approach of being the first mover in pathbreaking directions, it is our consistent endeavour to generate tremendous value for all those who place faith in ZMCL.
With deep regards,
Executive Director & COO