The English movie genre has been growing slowly and steadily over the past few years. While the audience for this genre is limited, the channels are very optimistic about growth. The genre, which is led by Star Movies, saw the launch of a new channel WB from Turner International some time back. exchange4media takes a look at what the current equation in the English movie genre is.
Star Movies has the highest market share among all the players in this genre and has grabbed almost 40 per cent of the market share in the past four months as per TAM Peoplemeter System for a TG of 15+ years, All India. HBO follows with approximately 30 per cent market share, while the rest of the genre pie is divided among players such as PIX, WB and Zee Studio.
When asked how had the category changed with the advent of WB, Monica Tata, Vice President and Deputy General Manager, Entertainment Networks, South Asia, Turner International India, replied, “For the first time after three years the English entertainment genre has witnessed a growth in viewership shares by 16 per cent in 2009. On the other hand, due the economic environment, approximately close to 25 per cent categories exited from the genre. Fast forward to 2010, the year kickstarted with the resurgence of categories such as auto, travel and tourism, airlines, technology, etc., within the genre. Importantly, this genre works more on the perception and aspiration value than ratings, and that remains consistent.”
Talking about the status of the genre, Jyotsna Viriyala, Vice President, Star World and Star Movies, said, “The gap between Star Movies and the competitors has increased, with Star Movies emerging as the clear leader. The English movie space as a whole continues to dominate the English space, towering over other English categories like news, entertainment and lifestyle.” She further said that the entry of the new players had affected the channel in a positive way as they had helped to expand the category.
The past couple of years have been tough for all sectors across the globe, and although India did not face the recession, the signs of slowdown were definitely noticeable. In such a situation, how have the channels fared in the last one year and what were the goals that they had set for this year?
Viriyala replied that the past year had been good for Star Movies and that the gap between them and their immediate competitors had increased considerably. She added, “Our aim in the next one year is to increase our ratings by 20 per cent.”
Tata, too, was positive about the growth prospects and claimed that WB was launched in the No. 3 position with 12 per cent relative share in March 2009, and since then, the channel had maintained a 6 per cent relative share till the end of 2009. She further said, “The average monthly billing on WB is up by 25 per cent in 2010 over 2009. In the launch year itself, the channel attracted 60-plus brands. Within the first half of 2010, we already have 26 new brands on the channel. Within first year of launch, WB is already distributed in approximately 50 per cent households, reached by the more established players in the genre.”
Tata also pointed out some programming and sales trends and said that they had witnessed a major resurgence in the automobile category and that new categories like travel and tourism, airlines, corporate advertising, technology, and consumer and luxury goods had seen a rise this year.
“In the second half of the year, we hope to see a positive growth from low-lying sectors like banking and financial institutions, personal finance, IPOS and MF categories,” she said, adding, “This genre now has two key prime times – 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm. WB has made the Saturday 9.00 pm movie as a ‘one break’ movie.”
Meanwhile, Viriyala from Star Movies pointed out that a larger part of the viewership came from a young audience and that certain genres of English movies performed better than the others.
PIX and HBO did not respond to the queries sent for this report.