After pioneering TV soaps, Balaji Telefilms, through its content production arm ALT Entertainment, has launched its first ever online serial in a bid to build greater connect with the younger generation. The online fiction show, called ‘Bol Niti Bol’, will be made available to users on YouTube, Mid-Day.com and Rediff.com.
Commenting on the development, Puneet Kinra , Group CEO, Balaji Telefilms Ltd, elaborated, “The way in which audience consumes entertainment is changing with each passing day and the division between television, web and mobile is blurring like never before. Coupled with the recent broadband wireless auction, it will dramatically increase consumption of video content in the times to come. We see this development as a great business proposition shaping up within the category. Thus, as pioneers of content production, we wanted to be among the first movers to claim this space for ourselves through our brand ALT Entertainment and connect with the young audience in the language they understand.”
Since the concept is quite new, exchange4media sought to know more on how Balaji Telefilms went about this venture. When asked if the company had some anxious moments prior to the serial’s launch, Kinra emphatically said, “Not at all, because online video consumption is at an all time high thanks to cheap broadband services. Moreover, with advent of 3G, this figure will increase considerably, making our business model a viable proposition.”
Kinra also refuted that there would be any possible limitations of viewing programming content online. “There are no limitations at all, while the positive can be that of accessing entertainment anywhere anytime,” he asserted.
‘Bol Niti Bol’ is the story of Niti, an average young girl who will chronicle her daily life through each episode of the show. Each episode, shot on webcam, will be Niti’s video diary about what new has happened in her life.
On expectations from the new initiative, Kinra said, “We expect a sizeable young audience for our webisodes as this is the first ever fiction show for the online space from the leaders in entertainment. Moreover, the protagonist (Niti) and the show will easily connect to young at hearts as it revolves around the daily challenges that are thrown to an average teenaged girl.”
Mid-Day, one of the online partners, is gung-ho about the new project. Niranjan Vidyasagar, National Revenue Head – Digtal, Mid-day.com, said, “A first ever episode from the Balaji stable is the most exciting part of Niti. Mid-Day is an innovation leader in print and digital space. Hence, it made sense for us to tie up.”
Vidyasagar further elaborated on the promotion strategy and said, “Our key TG is young urban mobile professional across India (YUMPI) and ‘Bol Niti Bol’ is bang on for this TG. Mid-Day will be promoting this intensively via print, radio and digital properties.”
But the real test will be when advertisers are convinced of the new formula that not only increases the number of hits but also re-visits on the website as well as gains the loyalty of the user. Vidyasagar explained, “It is not so easy to get advertisers for webisodes in India. With the current bandwidth issues, advertisers are apprehensive about getting associated with such properties. We are building packages for the advertisers, which entail them to be with us on the ‘Bol Niti Bol’ page in various forms – viz., banners, pre/post roll, pre roll in ‘Bol Niti Bol’ QR code. We are confident of signing up a few deals in a week’s time.”
Speaking about the technicalities, he said that no changes would be made to their server to support this first-of-its-kind programming content.
The content will be refreshed twice a week and in all, 17 episodes of ‘Bol Niti Bol’ will be released. Plans are in place to release the episodes on www.youtube.com/bolnitibol, Mid-Day.com and Rediff.com/bolnitibol for maximum online traffic.