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Star says OK to second movie channel but is the market ok?

Positioned as the family Hindi Movie channel, Movies OK from the Star bouquet will debut on May 6

Ananya Saha | Delhi | May 2, 2012

There is a new Hindi movie channel on the block to stand in the market where there is Star Gold, Set Max, Zee Cinema, Zee Premier, dubbed UTV Movies and UTV Action, and other GEC channels who telecast Hindi movies. To be launched officially on May 6, the channel has already soft-launched on DTH and cable. Hemal Jhaveri who is heading Movies OK said, “We are positioning the channel as a complete family movie channel. And this would be our clear-cut differentiator. The real differentiator would be the programming and in the ‘look-and-feel’ of the channel.” According to him, the channel would be unique in the way the ‘movie’ is communicated.

VivaKi Exchange CEO Mona Jain, said, “The channel has to be different to create the impact – less clutter, good movie selection, channel appearance and packaging – all play a very important role.”

The Indian Television Market is very competitive with a huge number of channels. “However, despite the competitive landscape, the Hindi movies – as a genre over the past year has increased by three per cent in terms of genre share in the Hindi Speaking Markets. The resurgence of cinema in primary urban markets, increased access to DVD players, increasing access to DTH and IPTV platforms, and of course, access to internet for video content – all have been unable to affect the share of the Hindi movies genre. And, this approximate 15% share of the genre is contributed by about 15 channels – though the top three channels have more than 75% share of the genres viewership. The very existence of the other 12 channels with marginal shares indicates that there is business case even at lower channel shares,” explained Premjeet Sodhi, COO, Lintas Media Group.

Given that the Movie OK will roll out from the same group that already has a Hindi movie channel (Star Gold), Satyajit Sen, CEO, Zenith Optimedia, believes that the market is mature enough to accommodate more Hindi movie channels. “And given the digitization that is due to be implemented soon, the demand will only see an increase,” he said.

Is there a gap that the channel aims to address? “There is always going to be a space for movie channels. If we take the international example, they have a channel dedicated to every genre,” claimed Jhaveri. With the fairly wide distribution, riding on the Star Network, the channel aims to do well and grow. Jain said, “Yes, there is always space for new channels. The more the merrier.”

Jhaveri further added, “We are positioning the channel as ‘ghar ka multiplex’ by being the first channel to premiere new movie everyday for every seven days of the week.” Movies OK will be marketed heavily using 360-degree approach, with the focus mainly on TV. Jhaveri informed that the channel will be promoted across Star network and other networks as well. He also informed that the sales and marketing team is being carved out from the existing Star team.

The broadcast design has been done by Dynamite Design, who also designed the look of Star Gold while Mindshare will be handling the media duties for the channel. The website dedicated to the channel will also debut on May 6.

“One must also note that the cable channels also enjoy about a 5% share – which is mostly contributed by movie content (Hindi or regional) indicating that yes, there is a market for expansion of the hindi movie genre and hence more channels,” concurred Sodhi, adding, “For most categories where the Male is the target group, movie genre plays an important role in the media plans and given its relatively higher time spent is often used as an important part of the plan.”

The biggest challenge, according to Jhaveri, is the escalating cost of procuring movies that the whole industry is grappling with currently.

Ananya@BestMediaInfo.com

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