Endemol India has aggressive plans for the year ahead. According to Marco Bassetti, COO, Endemol, India was a huge market for content. Including India, the production house has 25 offices across the globe.
Bassetti said, “We certainly have big plans for India and we are very happy about how the business is being operating here. As a production house, Endemol is known for its non-script genre of content where 80 per cent is in non-script, 11 per cent in scripted and the rest is digital. So we see a very strong appetite in non-script here. The market in India speaks very well for its content, as there are a lot of channels. We see ourselves as producers and not broadcasters. I think India is a perfect fit for us.”
Commenting on his future vision for Endemol Group, Bassetti elaborated that with the boom of more channels coming up, the real challenge was about differentiating content. He also cited other issues like the fit between creativity and advertising. He said, “We really want to be very close to advertisers. On the other hand, we also think that with so many channels being launched, one needs to posses a strong source of finance. So in a scenario like India that has a core TV business, we mainly focus on delivering good content, and we also find new source of financing. We are really looking forward in future to be in talks with many such broadcasters and advertisers.”
Bassetti was of the opinion that reality shows were more of a language by themselves, rather than just a genre. “It is a new way of telling a story. Thus reality shows are here to stay for a long time.”
His opinion on the fight for TRPs was that it wasn’t merely about ratings, but also how much content could one deliver for advertisers. “This can be managed well when advertisers are not intrusive, but are very subliminal to the content. The big fight is not only among channels, but also among various platforms like the Internet, direct marketing and others.”
Sharing more plans on Endemol’s fiction space, Deepak Dhar, Country Head, Endemol India, said, “We have consolidated out fiction vertical. There is Vinita Coello who is the creative head on fiction. We have aggressive plans on fictions, and at group level we keep talking about fiction as the mushroom which is growing at the backyard of the office and now which is out in the front yard. Thus our focus is to create differentiated content in fiction, while we are working on daily sitcoms.”
When queried about the content for 2008, Dhar said that Endemol India was very closely tracking the advertiser funded programming (AFP) space. Dhar said that the company was in talks with many brands in that regard. He cited, “We are in talks with a very emotional reality format show with ICICI Insurance, thus developing a locally driven concept for them. This show should be going on air early this year.”
The other projects in the pipeline include ‘Kids are Alright’ to be aired in January on one of the leading general entertainment channels. It is a new generation game show that will tackle the mind of kids versus that of an adult. There is also a stand-up comedy format show called ‘8 out of 10 Cats’, which will feature six comedians putting forth their points of view on news.
On his expectation from the comedy show, Dhar commented, “We are considered as the pioneer in the comedy space, so this will be a new edge in that space.”
When asked about Endemol’s plans on the news space, Bassetti made it clear that there were no such plans currently. The production house is focussed on targetting the entertainment space, as there is still more to explore in reality and drama content space.