Zee TV scouts for digital agency

As the Dance India Dance L'il Masters show gets a WAP and mobile app boost, the channel is looking to exploit digital media to connect with the youth

BestMediaInfo Bureau
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Zee TV scouts for digital agency

As the Dance India Dance L'il Masters show gets a WAP and mobile app boost, the channel is looking to exploit digital media to connect with the youth

Ananya Saha | Delhi | May 24, 2012

publive-imageFollowing a successful collaboration for the mobile application of DID Season 3, Zee TV continues its partnership with Mobilox Innovations to develop the WAP and Mobile app technology for DID L'il Masters.

Boasting of the highest-ever rating of 5.8 TVR for the first episode and soaring even higher on the popularity charts with an average weekly rating of 6.2 TVR in its second week of telecast, the channel now hopes to make the presence of its hottest-selling weekend primetime dance reality show in the digital space stronger than ever before through the launch of a highly interactive WAP site and mobile application.

Akash Chawla, Marketing Head, National Channels, ZEEL, said, “Dance India Dance is a brand that is a favourite with viewers of all ages, especially the youth. The overwhelming response to the launch of the WAP site and mobile app for Season 3 of the show has only strengthened our conviction that technology engages consumers in ways that are addictive. This has led us to work on further enhancing the digital presence of DID L'il Masters through the launch of an all-improved WAP site. At a time when on-demand entertainment is the order of the day, viewers expect content that is accessible at all times on a device of their choice.”

Chawla added, “Viewers are no longer passive. With increased levels of interactivity with brands, viewers are fast becoming co-creators of content, actively involved at every stage. It is, thus, imperative for a content producer like us to adapt to their preferences to keep them engrossed and engaged. DID's WAP/App is just the start of this revolution!”

The new WAP site will have exciting and entertaining features like personalised dance tutorials wherein skippers will coach you in their signature styles with tutorial videos unlocking for subscribers every day. Viewers can even post questions and comments on each tutorial. The apps will let viewers chat live with the judges, skippers and their favourite DID L'il Masters contestants, appreciate the best acts and vote for their favourite participants through an in-built missed call function. Viewers will be able to stay clued in to the buzz on the official Facebook page of DID L'il Masters. One will also be able to view all the Twitter messages and posts of all participants and judges on one page.”

Abhijit Saxena MD and CEO of Mobilox Innovations, said, “We are pleased to once again partner with Zee for the new app after an overwhelming response to the first one. The media industry has the biggest scope of building interactive apps which has been evident from the success of the DID Season 3 app.”

The launch of the mobile application for DID L'il Masters Season 3 made it the first ever reality show on Indian television to be present as an application on all mobile and digital platforms. The mobile app designed for DID L'il Masters aims to take consumer interactivity in the mobile domain to an even greater high. By engaging with viewers, this mobile innovation will also serve as an effective feedback mechanism to track their responses.

Given the potential of digital media to connect with the youth, Chawla told BestMediaInfo, “We are looking for a digital agency to look after Zee TV's digital platforms and make them better. When an area starts to look promising, you need to look for domain experts. Mobilox are experts in the mobile field, so we partnered with them. They brought their thoughts to the table and helped us execute our thoughts better. Similarly, on the digital platform, we need experts who can help us do our best on that domain be it website, FaceBook, Twitter.”

Tight-lipped about pitch, Chawla said, “There is a lot of discussion going on, internally and with our group companies. We are expected to make an announcement in another 10-15 days.”

A quick chat

On the sidelines of Dance India Dance launching its WAP site, BestMediaInfo spoke to Akash Chawla, Marketing Head, National Channels, ZEEL, about the viability of apps. Excerpts:


How does a WAP application help in boosting the viewership of a TV show like Dance India Dance?

Mobile handsets being one of those devices whose penetration is extremely high, applications like these make it convenient for talking and reaching out to the participants, skippers, judges, etc. At the end of the day, DID is a youth brand of Zee. Given the kind of platforms people use and the kind of segment we are chasing, digital space is a way and part of their lives. Having said that, downloads of the app might not be connected to the ratings of the show. If somebody downloads the app, and is able to connect with the brand a little bit more, I have a more loyal consumer on hand.

This is not a brand that will run for one season only. We are in the third season of DID and second season of Li'l Masters. So, for us, it becomes one of the ways of long-term connection and engagement of the consumer and, thus, creates a loyal base rather than just look for a spike in ratings.

Are there any measurable metrics on the WAP and Mobile app on the viewership of DID L'il Masters?

Absolutely! You can measure the number of page views, the number of people that log in, their comments, etc. And this is an application that is by far the most measureable application and you can track it across platforms: downloads on Blackberry vis-à-vis a Symbian device vis-à-vis an Andriod. It becomes an interesting input for us, whether it is from marketing perspective or from the programming perspective.

Given that the app can be downloaded for free, how much is Zee spending on building these apps? How would Zee recover the cost?

There is no revenue model. The app product is for community building. It is one of the platforms to take me closer to the consumer. We are not looking at monetising this app.

The percentage of my marketing money on digital, with app being one of them, would be close to 8-10 per cent of revenues. Going forward, as I see it, it will definitely increase. The graph for the last 4 to 5 years shows an increase from close to 2 per cent to 10 per cent now. As this community keeps increasing – since it allows you to connect with consumers through their handheld devices and this phenomenon is not limited to metros at all – I see that it will only grow forward.

What are the challenges that you foresee with digital apps?

The application is going to be promoted in a big way as far as in-shows are concerned. We will be revealing the application in the coming episode of DID. One of the ways is going to be that people who have already downloaded the application before a particular date can directly interface with 'Master Marzi'. The 'Tutorial' app gives an instant gratification to the viewer. So, we will keep doing such innovative things to keep the consumer engaged.

It is also a trick to keep the app more innovative so that consumers stay interested rather than it just being one of the 'icons' on their mobile phones. That is really going to be the challenge. We will have to probably keep thinking of it on a weekly level.