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Budget 2011: Content, aggressive marketing buoy channels

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Budget 2011:  Content, aggressive marketing buoy channels

TAM Media Research released the data for Budget Day (February 28) 2011 on March 9, 2011. As expected, no big changes were seen in the top ranking for English business news channels. But the genre has seen marginal growth in viewership this year as compared to Budget Day 2010 (February 26). If experts are to be believed, the strong marketing campaigns, hype around this ‘property’ and connect with the ‘aam admi’ have paved the path for the success of the genre.

Experts observed that as the aspirations of ‘aam admi’ from the Budget grow, they turn to business channels for authentic news, views and analysis. This is one of the reasons that educated young small town viewers are also getting wooed by English business news channels and adding to the viewership.

The ‘Aam Aadmi’ Factor…
With the reach of English business news channels entering small towns, the ambitions of ‘aam admi’ to make money have also been efficiently leveraged by the channels. Janardhan Pandey, Associate VP, Mudra Max, stated, “Few channels have been able to lure large chunk of individuals by delivering content addressing personal finance matters and feeding middle/ upper middle class hunger for understanding business and economy.”

Meanwhile, Shekhar Awasthi, Media Group Head, Lintas Media agreed with the viewpoint of Pandey and added, “People in smaller towns have become more educated and alert about the planning, savings and investment. So, they also spend time to understand how and why the Budget will affect them and then plan accordingly.”

A well-marketed ‘Property’…
‘Budget’ in the country continues to be a well marketed property for English business news channels. Hence, the success of this domain can be attributed to overall increase in marketing activities by all channels prior to the Budget. Amita Karwal, Executive VP, Karishma Initiative, said, “Today, programming success depends on content as well as aggressive marketing initiatives and the channels have used both extremely well.”

On the other hand, business channels have been successful in building up the hype around the Budget day. Their panel discussions and consistent promos are helping the genre attract more and more numbers of non-finance professionals who are now able to understand the business jargons.

Maintaining Leadership…
CNBC TV18 has maintained its leadership in the space for the 11th consecutive year now despite the advent of competition. Experts observed that one of the reasons of the success of the channel was the ‘trust factor’. Awasthi of Lintas Media opined, “CNBC TV18 was the first business news channel and has been in the market for quite a long time, so is able to develop that trust level with the viewers.”

It may be noted that this year, for the first time the channel had engaged viewers through initiatives like live-streaming of the Budget on as well as on YouTube. This helped in pulling a wider community on the channel on Budget day. Karwal noted, “The key to success on television is the content, and CNBC’s theme this year – ‘Will Budget 2011 make the impact India needs’ – was inclusive and relevant for not just the business community but the common man too.”

Budget 2011 has certainly thrown some interesting trends in front of the industry. CNBC TV18 is gaining good grounds and ET Now is the only channel that could come closer to the leader. However, the numbers also show that there is some cause for worry for Bloomberg UTV and NDTV Profit. In coming days, it will be interesting to see that how English business news channel plan their strategies keeping ‘aam admi’ and smaller towns in mind.

Also read:
Budget 2011: CNBC TV18 & CNN IBN lead the pack


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