On Monday (June 29th) The Indian Government banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including the infamous creative platform, TikTok due to rising tensions between India and China at the LoC.
TikTok had 10 core monthly active users in India according to recent reports. The app which let creators make their own videos ranging from song and dance to skits was widely popular for its challenges among the youth. It was also used in tier 2 and tier 3 cities predominantly as a primary source of income by many of its creators.
Needless to say banning the app will create a vast chasm for entertainment platform in India especially now with lockdown in place, people are more inclined to express their creativity online and pass time and with growing preference for ‘Made in India’ products.
Recently it was announced that OTT platform, Zee5 would be launching its own short video platform tentatively called HiPi soon to compete with TikTok. It is supposed to be a one-stop entertainment platform for all kinds of digital videos.
Inspired by its Chinese counterpart, it will allow creators to make 15-90 second videos and upload them on its app.
Now with TikTok out of the way, this could be the push HiPi needs to truly become the next TikTok of India and capture its large market share provided that it takes precautions regarding all data privacy issues that TikTok had run into.
HiPi has a clear path to gain from TikTok’s loss as currently there only a few Indian apps that are available in the market such as Mitron, Roposo, Bolo Indya among others. So if it caters to the Indian sentiments and creates a model suitable for Indian audiences there is no reason why it shouldn’t be successful when it launches in August.
The decision to expand beyond OTT content and venture into social media and entertainment is proving to be a wise one for Zee5 who can now exponentially increase their user base and grow revenue tremendously from this opportunity.
While the app is still in beta testing and will not be released till at least next month it still leaves plenty of space for the application to create a splash and grow into a digital space that caters to various needs of its users.
Now it’s up to Zee5 to take advantage of this golden opportunity and whether it succeeds or fails, only time will tell.
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