Post digitisation, the Hindi GEC space is facing numerous challenges. Commencing from the DAS Phase 1 in October 2012, the entry of the LC1 markets in January to the DAS Phase 2 in March 2013, there has been a lot of fluctuations in terms of viewership and ratings.
Even as most players in the Hindi general entertainment space are witnessing fluctuations in terms of viewership, Life OK, the second Hindi GEC from the STAR network, has seen a rise in its ratings since September 2012. The channel, which used to garner an average of 125 to 130 GRPs in the last quarter of 2012, saw an increase to around 135 to 140 GRPs during the first quarter of 2013. Recently, according to data sourced from TAM subscribers for CS 4+, HSM markets, Week 23, Life OK added 12 points (last week 137 GRPs) to garner 149 GRPs. exchange4media takes a look at what has the channel done right post digitisation.
Riding the digitisation wave
Commenting on the channel strategy, Ajit Thakur, General Manager, Life OK stated, “We have looked at the numbers from September till now for all the channels, and have found that while most have either dropped or remained steady, Life OK is amongst the two channels that have grown. This in itself is a great sign for a young and new channel amid all the changes taking place post digitisation, and with smaller markets being measured, which are at two ends of the spectrum.”
According to Thakur, the relative share of the channel has increased from 10 per cent to 12 per cent in this period. The heartening part is that Life OK managed to consolidate its position during this period and grow steadily. Thakur also attributes the same to two significant elements. The first aspect is the focus on content aimed to cater to the LC1 markets as well as urban India. The second is the in-depth marketing activities launched across the changing markets.
Revamped weekends with six to 12 hours of continuous programming
The second significant element that the channel is currently focusing on is revamping the weekends. Elaborating on the same, Thakur stated, “We have two or three shows that are doing well, ‘Mahadev’, ‘Savitri’ and ‘Savdhaan India’, while we have a few shows that are not doing well. Hence, we are going to go slow and steady, wherein every month we would be undertaking a launch. That is what we are looking at as a clear strategy between now and December to grow. In the meanwhile, we are going to focus on weekends, which have maximum audience availability, leading to increased TV consumption.”
It has been observed that post the Indian Premier League (IPL) Season 6, most of the players in the Hindi GEC space have launched reality-based talent hunt shows on their weekend primetime slot. Deviating from the same, Life OK on June 2 carried out an experiment, wherein the channel telecast content from 6PM to 12AM, instead of the usual time slots.
Elaborating on the same, Thakur added, “We stuck to the whole thing about thrillers, fantasies, etc. We aired a two-hour movie of ‘Savdhaan’ at 6 PM, backed by the maha episode of ‘Mahadev’, ‘Shapath - UP Fights Back’ and so on. The channel received an amazing response, which translated to the channel leading on Sunday that week, ahead of everybody else.”
On the back of that, Life Ok would be undertaking a 12PM to 12AM programming on June 23, 2013. The channel would be showcasing 12 hours of programming content focusing on the core assets and strengths of the channel. Except for one movie in between, everything will be unique. There will be ‘Savdhaan’ maha movie, ‘Savdhaan - UP Fights Back’, maha episodes of ‘Shapath’ and ‘Mahadev’ as well as the launch of a new show on Saturday, June 22, titled ‘Police Dial 100’ as part of the content strategy for the weekend.
Introduction of reality crimes series
The third aspect that the channel is all set to delve into is the launch of a reality crime based series, ‘Police dial 100’, on June 22 in the 7PM time slot. According to Thakur, this show is not about whether the police are right or wrong, but the fact that since they are there, we are safe. The show would have seven camera crews working with different police stations, and real police in Delhi and following up with real cases. The show would start as a finite series for now, but might extend over to other cities going forward.