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Times Network attempts Zoom’s turnaround, 40% increase in revenue

A new style quotient in association with Myntra, revamped content and a new look and feel are on offer. The channel, whose revenue grew by 8-9% last year, is aiming a 40% growth in the top line

Times Network is now trying an aggressive rejig for its 14-year-old brand Zoom in an attempt to turn around the fortunes and performance of the channel. It has worked out a multi-forked strategy to make the channel come back with a bang; the most visible is the change in the look and feel and styling of the channel. Zoom is now ‘styled by Myntra’, the fashion e-commerce platform.

The channel has also announced the launch of original content line-up, given a boost to the IPs and experiential marketing segment and upped the news and style quotient on the channel.

The channel grew its revenue by 8-9% last year and aims 40% growth in the top line in the coming year. Last year saw a muted growth for many broadcasters because of demonetisation and GST.

Nikhil Gandhi

The channel is now investing heavily in the revamp. “We are being very cautious with costs. We are cost-sensitive as an organisation,” said Nikhil Gandhi, President, Times Network.

Under the new partnership, all the shows and anchors will be styled by Myntra, which will also help in co-creating content for the channel. At a basic level, it is a monetisation partnership deal.

If Myntra is present across the channel, wouldn’t it create a conflict of interest with other fashion and e-commerce brands? Gandhi answered, “All fashion brands are available on Myntra. So, there is no conflict of interest. In fact Louis Philippe is partnering for styling the men in The Reunion. The e-commerce category is certainly blocked for sponsorship or promotion of anything on Zoom. However, the FPC and spot buys will still be open for the category.”

After this, there would not be any more partnerships on a channel level but there can be in specific shows. Speaking more about the partnership, Gandhi added, “Myntra will add value in terms of styling and fashion on everything on Zoom. There will also be a few separate segments, exclusively for fashion, which will be done by Myntra, but it makes sense for us to get into that segment too.”

The channel is available in 60 countries while US and Canada have different feeds. Most of the markets get India feed. The Styled by Myntra feed will implicitly go to these markets, though the partnership is for India market only.

Gunjan Soni

On why Myntra thought of this association, Gunjan Soni, Head of Jabong and the Chief Marketing Officer, Myntra, said, “Video content consumption is going through the roof in India. In future, it will increase across formats. Another trend that we are observing is that people want to watch more of Bollywood/ fashion, which is among the top content. That's the kind of content we wanted to offer them back.”

Pooja Verma

The Zoom and Myntra partnership is orchestrated by Wavemaker. Pooja Verma, Head of Content, Entertainment and Sports Partnerships, Wavemaker, said, “At Wavemaker, we pride ourselves in crafting effective and engaging collaborations which enable brands to spark relevant conversations. The task at hand for us was to leverage and strengthen Myntra’s position as an e-commerce fashion leader through dynamic and meaningful brand associations. As the leading content destination for Bollywood and glamour, Zoom was the perfect partner. Given the brand synergies, we have created multiple pieces of content, tailored for various platforms, which can be consumed at different occasions. And we do hope the audience enjoys it as much as the fun we have had in bringing this to life.” 

While there have been a lot of content marketing associations on digital platform, there hasn’t been much on television. This is probably the biggest content marketing association happening on the television platform. Soni explained, “We are going to be involved in actual creation of content. We will co-create content in fashion and entertainment, which will be available across platforms. The format of the programming will be all shoppable videos. All the content ‘styled by Myntra’ will be shoppable, which we believe is how shopping is going to happen, invoking and satisfying the aspirations that the viewer has.”

Speaking more about the benefits of the association, Soni added, “This will help us capture the broader content consumption intent around fashion, thereby giving us an opportunity to convert the consumer's intent into consumption and transaction. We want to engage with them from the very beginning.”

Through an overlap study, it was found out that about 25% of viewers on Zoom are actually already consuming fashion content. All the shoppable videos will be available on Myntra’s online platforms, including the Myntra app. “Whatever you have seen on TV, if you go look for that on our online platforms, we will ensure those products are available on the app since we are styling beforehand,” she added.

It is a long time partnership which is expected to last for over three years. The refreshed logo and look and feel of the channel is styled, packaged and designed by the in-house team of Zoom. The new logo of Zoom is inspired by Myntra’s latest musical logo.

MK Anand

MK Anand, MD and CEO, Times Network, said, “We have changed the rules of stereotype partnership deals in the industry with our unique association with Myntra. The refresh to ‘Zoom styled by Myntra’ reflects the kind of real, conversational and multi-lingual entertainment that viewers in India are looking for. With an objective to beat viewer fatigue, we are innovating with content and triggering new conversations to find relevance with the changing consuming pattern of the youth."

Ananth Narayanan, CEO, Myntra and Jabong, said, “As the nation’s leading destination for fashion, Myntra is constantly looking to innovate and make fashion more accessible to consumers in India. There are a few fundamental beliefs that make the Zoom partnership very exciting. One of our research shows that by 2020, 75% of the content consumed will be videos and Made for India original content will grow substantially. Secondly, fashion as a category lends itself well to the video format, much more than any other category. With the Zoom TV association, our aim is not only to make fashion more accessible, but to make “buy it as you see it” a reality.”

Other than getting Myntra on board, Zoom is being revamped on multiple levels.

News Reporting

News reporting is being given a rejig by involving debate-based shows in the evening primetime. Planet Bollywood will be converted to a debate show where all the news of the day will be discussed. The anchors will now drive the conversation to reveal the real “story behind the news”. The show will also drive discussions to engage viewers on Zoom’s digital platforms and social media handles.

E- Town News will be a crisp, relevant and fresh approach, giving a complete daily low-down from the world of entertainment. Predominantly still focussing on Bollywood news and updates, the show will have different segments like Fashion, Beyond Bollywood (TV, Hollywood) and What’s Buzzing? (social media trending stories). The entertainment news shows will have an informal vibe with anchors being influencers.

Original Shows

The channel is launching original series, both fiction and non-fiction. The first one to be launched is The Reunion. “It is a web series format, because it is 20 minutes, 10-episode series. We will have about six such shows launched this year, with a digital-first approach,” said Gandhi. The Reunion is the first show to go on air on April 28, at 7.30 pm to be telecast every Saturday, simulcast across all the platforms.

Another show ‘Open House with Renil’ will have celebrity host Renil Abraham invite Bollywood celebrities for an intimate tête-á-tête to reveal their never-seen-before personalities.

‘Labelled’ is hosted by lifestyle coach and style guru, Nikki Arora, who lives by her own rules and is ready to change the world, one look at a time. Labelled will also be available in 4-minute weekly short format to drive conversations, build an influencer and drive virality on the Zoom platforms. Apart from the weekly episode on TV, there will be multiple series of digital content of ‘Labelled’ that will launch shortly on ‘Zoom styled by Myntra’ social media platforms.

The channel will have two hours of original content, along with Bollywood music and news.

The channel continues to remain in the genres where the respective EPGs have placed them. In some places, it is in the GECs (youth GEC) segment, while on most distribution platforms it is placed in the music segment.

“This is not only an attempt towards ratings. We are not too concerned about the ratings, because that is not the most important thing today. Advertisers are now equally interested in what is happening on my digital platforms. TV is the staple for spot-buys etc. but content integrations, branded content communications and content marketing that people are talking about,” said Gandhi.

That’s how the network has a re-energised in-house studio now, Zoom Studios, which is expected to create a lot of branded content soon.

IPs and experience

Zoom Holi Party is one property that the channel has developed over 14 years. “Along with this, we will have many such events across concerts, fashion and styling, music and entertainment and awards in the fashion segment,” said Gandhi.

Attempting to create Zoom as a multiplatform brand and content destination, Times Network is pushing more engagement through all platforms, including social media handles and the YouTube channel of Zoom.

Driving an exclusive and immersive experience through IPs, Zoom Styled by Myntra will launch ‘Golden Suitcase’, a one-of-a-kind travel award show that rewards consumer experiences and ‘Zoom Glammies’, a first-of-its-kind award show for India’s most beloved divas. ‘Style Watch’, a bi-monthly property, will showcase airport styles of celebrities and will be Facebook exclusive.

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