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Zomato enters video-streaming space, to bundle content with ads on platform

Come September 16, one can watch 3-to-15-minute long videos on the Zomato app, with the country’s oldest online food aggregator announcing a foray into over-the-top (OTT) space, starting with 18 original shows.

These short-format videos, which will be based on food, will be launched over a period of three months. The company has hired stand-up comedians and celebrity chefs like Sanjeev Kapoor, among others, for the shows.

The food delivery platform’s OTT foray comes at a time when online marketplace Amazon is going big with Prime Video and Flipkart is working on its own content vertical.

According to sources in the company, Zomato, which has been trying hard to sell its video advertisements to restaurants, cloud kitchens, and other clients on the platform, believes that entertainment content would help it bring in more restaurants.

“The plan is to weave in content with the advertisements, something what YouTube does on its platform. A video advertisement of a restaurant might play before or in-between the starting of the show,” said a source close to the company.

After listings, Zomato hopes to sell video advertisements to restaurants on its platform. Having content will encourage restaurants to place video ads as the probability of them getting watched by people is higher.

“Available in an all-new videos tab in the Zomato app, these will be categorised by genre letting users watch 3-15 minute videos across shows, recipes, and sneak peek restaurant stories. The Zomato video experience will launch with 2,000-plus videos that include Zomato Originals, which will be available to stream in India, while sneak peek and recipe videos can be accessed anywhere in the world,” the company said.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to engage our users around food. Most of our users visit our app several times a week. This presents us with an opportunity to further delight our users using Zomato Originals” Deepinder Goyal, CEO & founder

Zomato Original shows are centred around food. “We are constantly looking for new ways to engage our users around food. Most of our users visit our app several times a week. This presents us with an opportunity to further delight our users using Zomato Originals,” said Deepinder Goyal, chief executive officer and founder, Zomato.

Infinity Dining off the table

On Friday, the food delivery platform took its Infinity Dining offer of the app amid a battle with restaurants protesting against deep discounting. The programme allowed Zomato Gold subscribers to order unlimited food and drinks for a set price from the menu of the restaurant for a period of time.

Zomato has of late been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Over the past two months, the food aggregator has given pink slips to 601 employees, terming it a move to correct ‘redundancies’. This is more than 10 per cent of its total workforce.

While a record number of 541 employees were laid off on Saturday, 60 were let go last month.

This is not the first time the firm has carried out layoffs, but the number of people let go this year

is the highest.

Source: Business Standard