Digitisation was expected to benefit niche channels the most and the results are here to see post the implementation of Phase I and Phase II. Industry sources reveal that broadcasters are witnessing significant reduction in carriage fees. Although no broadcaster officially confirmed the figures, highly placed sources have conveyed that reduction has been in the range of 20 per cent to 22 per cent.
TAM figures, sourced from Sony Pix, have indicated that GRPs of the genre have seen a 61 per cent growth post Phase II, while percentage reach has enhanced by 6 per cent.
Source: TAM, All India 1mn+, CS AB 15-44 Yrs, Pre DAS: Week 31 – week 43 2012 and Post Phase II: Week 19 – week 26, 2013) Sourced from Pix
DAS: A catalyst of growth
The English movie genre is slowly but steadily expanding post digitisation, as the appetite of ordinary Indian consumer for global content has drastically increased.
“The reach has increased for the English movie genre significantly. Small channels have significantly gained post digitisation. I believe that this genre will continue to expand, citing increase in the number of English speaking population. The movie watching experience is going beyond only the elite audiences,” said Dhaval Katkar, Senior Director and Network Head – English Entertainment, South Asia, Turner International India.
Saurabh Yagnik, EVP and Business Head, Sony Pix also shared a similar view, “Our category was constrained in terms of distribution in the analog era because of the overall costs as well as viewing experience. Digitisation has taken away the distribution handicap for English movie channels. DAS Phase I and Phase II implementation has been a big boon for the English movie category. The genre grew by 60 per cent post Phase II, when compared to pre-DAS shares.”
The genre has not only expanded in the metros, but even in the non-metros and HSM markets. Viewers in the age group of 15 – 40 years (SEC-A&B) are the core TG of this genre.
Viewers have recently acquired the taste of Hollywood and according to the data sourced from PIX, most channels in the genre source their content from major networks across the globe, i.e. Fox, WB, Paramount, SPE, Disney and Universal.
Why the genre will further expand?
As DAS progresses, so will the opportunity of users to access more English movie channels. Apart from this, some other factors are contributing to the growth of this genre…
An interesting initiative, which has been taken by the channels in this genre, is the introduction of sub-titles in the movies. This has expanded the genre’s reach.
“An important insight is that although Hollywood lovers in small town admire the special effects, animation, stunts and most importantly, thinking behind the films, they are unable to understand the accent and the flow of the language. Most of them therefore, rely on dubbed content. Introduction of sub-titles has not only helped channels consolidate their position in such markets, but has also helped them establish a presence,” said Amitabh Sharma, an independent media analyst.
Ajit Vargehse, MD, South Asia, Maxus said, “With increase in globalisation and spread of education, more people would want to watch the English movie genre.”
Another important insight, which industry experts reveal, is that as globalisation increases, more and more people will consume international content i.e. news, international politics, etc. With people are now exploring multi-cultural and multi-lingual aspects, the trend is likely to reach smaller towns as well.
“Some Hollywood films require a basic understanding of the country’s structure; like films made on international politics feature the White house, the CIA, Pentagon, World Wars, etc. At times audiences get to know about certain real-life characters only through films, e.g. journalism students are taught about Watergate scandal in USA through films such as ‘All the President’s men’ and ‘Frost-Nixon’. Likewise, as global knowledge expands, the genre of English films will expand for the sake of enhancing one’s knowledge and global perspective to understand development across the globe,” said Amin Shekhar, an independent media analyst.
Experts have also highlighted that the genre may not expand exponentially, but as the TV universe is expected to expand post DAS, coupled with factors such as globalisation, it will significantly contribute to the growth of the genre.