Building on its stronghold in the Hindi belt of the country, India News launched India News MP and Chhattisgarh on June 3. Kartikeya Sharma, MD, India News shared that June 3 was an “auspicious date” and that they would be conducting a test run for the first two weeks.
In four years, the group had launched India News Bihar, India News Jharkhand, India News Rajasthan, India News UP and India News Haryana channels. After India News MP and Chhattisgarh, the plan is to launch in Himachal and Uttarakhand in mid-July. “With this, we will complete the Hindi heartland expansion,” said Sharma.
On the right track
“I think we are on the right track and our goals have also been set right. We have taken a slow approach. We take time to establish a product and then launch another,” he observed. It was seven months ago that their last product Indian News UP was set up.
Regional is the way to go for India News. “We truly believe that regional channels not only compete with other regional channels in that region, but also with national channels. People’s expectations are high and they expect regional channels to be the same as national channels. So, it’s important to have same packaging, presentation, look and feel,” Sharma had said in an earlier interaction with exchange4media.
Content mix and promotions
The content mix would primarily be news and current affairs. There will be a segment on entertainment on weekends and non-news slots too.
For promoting these channels, they have used various media, Sharma pointed out. There is OOH, print, radio and below-the-line (BTL). He shared that for launching India News Bihar and UP, they had used outdoor and radio, which proved to be very effective.
As for the advertiser profile he said, “It’s a mix of corporate and regional. We cover the pan-Hindi heartland and it’s more viable for advertisers as they get penetration and reach that is higher than a large number of national channels.” He gave examples of the high viewership his channels garnered – In Haryana during the jaat uprising, India News Haryana had maximum viewership (24.36, wk 10, 2012 TAM data), and in Bihar and UP during the elections the channel had maximum viewership (India News, Bihar and Jharkhand – 29.26, wk 5, 2011 TAM data).
About the revenue model, he said, “We are expecting good revenues from retail, corporate and government ads.
The future of entertainment and non-entertainment segments is in the regional front and India News would be aggressive in this area. By December 2012, the group will be covering eastern and western part of India as well. Thus, it plans to take network coverage to 65 per cent of the country. “We will have entertainment and news coverage in Bangla, Oriya, Marathi, Gujarati languages as well as foray into the north-eastern states by the year-end,” Sharma concluded.