The English movie genre’s viewership has grown across channels due to the lockdown as people remained confined to their homes, according to various reports. BARC viewership data for Week 24 said 102 million viewers watched English movie channels during the lockdown. The numbers might even grow in the coming weeks, say industry leaders.
Due to this uptick in viewership, players in the category are communicating heavily through creative campaigns and some have changed communication to highlight the industry’s resurgence. Times Network’s campaign #IndiaTurnsToHollywood is talking about the growth of the genre across channels, including Star Movies, Star Movies Select HD, Sony Pix, HBO, WB, &flix, &privé HD, etc.
About 98,999,999 viewers were watching Hollywood Movies during the lockdown! What were you doing?#IndiaTurnsToHollywood@StarMoviesIndia @SonyPix @HBOINDIA @WarnerBrosIndia @AndFlix @AndPrive @mnplustv @MNXMovies pic.twitter.com/t8Fx3thdXB— Movies Now (@moviesnowtv) June 23, 2020
Talking about the campaign, Vivek Srivastava, President, Strategy and Business Head, English Entertainment Cluster, Times Network, said, “This is a Times Network campaign focusing on the category’s resurgence, concurrent to the massive growth witnessed. Last year after the NTO, a few players in the category had lost some viewership, affecting the category’s reach. But the past few months have seen a positive and a healthy sign with all players regaining their lost ground. We, as leaders of the category, recognise this as a significant and notable development for all players and hence devised a campaign on behalf of the category that affirms its buoyancy by giving prominence to all players. We are glad that this campaign is endorsed by our fellow brands and happy to see the positive results."
Kartik Mahadev, Business Head, Premium Channels, ZEEL, said, television came as a trusted medium during the lockdown and &flix had a highly engaged audience in megacities, with 56 mins (Week 12 - Week 22 as per BARC data) average weekly time spent on the channel. “The Zee English cluster of channels grew by 93% (Week 12 - Week 22 vs Week 1 to Week 11 as per BARC data),” he added.
“The tremendous growth and strength of the category called for a campaign by &flix to spotlight the strength and buoyancy in the English movie genre. 105 million viewers (as per BARC Week 25 data) in the category is a testament to the growing interest in Hollywood movies. The messaging by the other channels in the category too was in the right direction to spur greater interest among brands who want to associate with exciting new content, movie premieres and superhero movies that have a passionate fan base,” he added.
The NTO implemented last year had disrupted the English entertainment space severely both in terms of viewership and ad insertions. This uptick in viewership motivated the broadcasters to offer exciting content to the viewers as the English GECs continued to suffer due to NTO. Mahadev said their campaign #FlixForAll allowed people to watch the movies in their languages. They are now bringing newer premieres to the audience, reducing the waiting period for the viewers.
“&flix continues to enthral movie enthusiasts through its disruptive innovations. #FlixForAll delighted fans with the opportunity to watch Hollywood movies in the language of their choice. The Pick Your Flix innovation allowed our audience to pick the movie of their choice to play on the channel and found great resonance. Another disruption of the category norms was bringing premieres of biggest Hollywood blockbusters within months of their theatrical release, reducing the waiting period for movie fans by nearly half,” said Mahadev.