Taking the understanding of brand perception and consumer behaviour beyond the basic television ratings (TVR), ACNielson ORG MARG conducted a syndicated research based on the globally acclaimed ‘winning brands’ brand equity model.
The research worked out a brand equity index based on consumer preference and viewership loyalty and identified key areas of strength of news channels. As reported earlier, Aaj Tak occupied the top slot on the index with a score of 4.3 points, leaving a huge gap between its closest competitor, Star News trailing at 2.1.
Says G Krishnan, ED and CEO, TV Today, “The ACNielson Study of News Channels emphasises that Aaj Tak's brand equity is more than double that of its competitors. Besides the conversion rate of viewers from consideration set to preferred set is also the highest. These aspects have been reflected not just in this research per se but across various research studies in the last three years.”
“Aaj Tak's strong dominance in the news space is reflected in all aspects like aggressive journalism and innovative marketing and communication and today Aaj Tak is at a position where the brand has become synonymous with news and it sets the agenda for news channels. Aaj Tak will continue to raise the bar by its innovative and path-breaking ‘Ankhen Khol De’ Journalism,” he claimed.
Besides the topper on the index, has the research gone down well with the other channels as well and do they agree with its authenticity? Also, will it be a part of the consideration set in their future strategy?
Explains Keertan Adyanthaya, Brand Director, Star News, “We are a firm believer in research and have a continuous process of evaluating the performance of our channel with regular research initiatives, both syndicated as well as non-syndicated. This report has a lot of items that are of interest to us. Agreeing or disagreeing with the findings is not really of consequence. Each and every research that we commission or subscribe to gives us a certain insight into the requirements and needs of our viewers and that is taken into account while planning future activity.”
Lakshmi Goel, Director, News Group, Zee Telefilms has a different point of view to share. He says, “The study will be given due cognisance but it will not affect our strategy as we have our own monitoring and feedback mechanism in place which guides our strategy.”
Referring to the disparity in the ratings between Aaj Tak and Zee News, Goel says, “We are the only pay news channel thus our reach is less than free to air news channels but this gap is narrowing down as we are providing an engaging news environment to discerning viewers, providing the right content mix. We are the only television channel to have won New York Festivals awards, the first in India and will continue our thought leadership and keep reporting Haqeeqat - The truth in context.”
However, as the report reflected, DD News, BBC World and CNBC were offering the most reliable news. While NDTV 24×7 established itself as a TV news channel that people enjoyed watching.
Seema Mohapatra, Head of Advertising Sales, BBC World, sounds happy as she says: “We are happy with some of the key findings of the study. It demonstrates the key strengths of BBC World and confirms our position as the number one international news channel, putting us ahead of even local channels like NDTV 24×7 and Headlines Today.”
“The target audience evaluated was in the four metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata across SEC A, B and C, more suited to Hindi domestic news channels. If you look at each channel and its SEC spread, BBC World scores the highest among SEC A, followed by SEC B and the SEC C, while for Aaj Tak it is the opposite. Aaj Tak's highest scores come from SEC C, followed by SEC B and then SEC A.,” she observed.
According to Mohapatra, in a CAS scenario, where all the channels are pay-for-view, the willingness to pay for BBC World was second only to Aaj Tak. Also, BBC ranked as the most watched channel among decision makers.
The brand equity study throws up a very interesting issue. While for a few channels there is not much variance between its findings and that of TAM’s, channels like NDTV India and Sahara Samay have been portrayed in very different colours.
The ACNielson ORG MARG News Channel Tracker was conducted among male news viewers in the age group of 25-50 in four metros – Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. The study done through random house-to-house method had a sample size of 150 respondents in each metro aggregating to 600 respondents. It identified key drivers for channel equity namely reliability, enjoyability, emphasis on social responsibility, focus on important issues and variety.