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Movies Now debuts with a bang

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Movies Now debuts with a bang

In a space which may appear cluttered to the lay eye, the English movie genre has displayed scope for growth in a manner that has surprised many. The numbers for Weeks 52 (December 19 to 25, 2010) of TAM Media Research for the CS 15+ 1 million markets including metros, clearly show how a channel, barely two weeks old can grab the attention of a target market with the right content, positioning and distribution formula. Movies Now has opened on the number two spot in the market, beating old players like HBO, Pix and others.

If only the six-metro data had to be considered, Movie Now has scored higher numbers than even Star Movies that has led the genre comfortably in the year.

There is more than one thing that Movies Now has done right. With the consumer luxury market on the boom, the time and stage was ready for ‘Hollywood in HD’, the channel’s primary USP of giving its picture and audio quality conscious audience an added incentive to tune in. Secondly, Movies Now chose to first set foot in the six metros and then expand to the one million plus markets, leaving the DTH medium for a future date, a strategy which appears to have worked in their favour.

TAM findings from week 52 show that nine out of the top 20 movies were on Movies Now. The top rated ‘Die Another Day’ from the Bond series, was on Star Movies with a 0.18 TVR, followed by ‘Transformers’ on HBO at number two.

Movies such as ‘True Lies’, ‘X Men – The Last Stand’, ‘Alien vs. Predator’, ‘IRobot’, ‘Fantastic Four – The Rise of the Silver Surfer’, ‘What Happens in Vegas’, ‘The Transporter’ and ‘Jingle All the Way’ from Movies Now featured in the top 20 list in the period from Dec 19-25, 2010. In comparison, Star Movies has six titles in the top 20, while HBO has the remaining four.

In a conversation with exchange4media last week, Ajay Trigunayat, Channel Head, Movies Now had shared insights on how, contrary to popular belief, movie premieres are not what drive the growth of a channel. Movies Now has adopted a content strategy of carefully lined-up library of fast-paced popular blockbuster titles, with an engaging quotient to build an audience base that will keep coming back for more of their all-time favourites --- a strategy, which is vindicated by the first week ratings scorecard.

Good Promos, Great Titles...
Another observation that emerged from TAM data is that Movies Now draws its audience throughout the week as opposed to pulling in viewership on weekends. While primetime continues to be a most-watched slot across channels, a strong weekday offering is the key to building familiarity with a receptive audience.

As a senior observer voice from the media services’ side of the table, Srinivasan Swamy, Chairman, RK Swamy Hansa Group commented on the entry of Movies Now by saying, “They have cracked their promos well, in a manner that invites viewers to sample the channel to add to which they have a good set of popular movies available in a High Definition format. Now all they have to do is sustain the response.”

Giving an insight into the consumer’s mind, Preeti Mascarenhas, Partner Invention, Mindshare India observed, “The overall English movie genre is on an upward trend and late night pattern lifestyles of the English audience is adding to English movie fever. The titles and library picked out by Movies Now has helped it gain faster eyeball and a superior picture quality offering, which was well announced to consumer, has been an apt family bouquet that will catch up well with audiences.”

PIX, another contemporary in this space positions itself as the channel tagged ‘We Tell Stories’ and places great importance on the storytelling element of its movies. PIX features movies and blockbusters ‘The Hurt Locker’, ‘Oliver Stone’s South Of The Border’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, Michael Jackson's concert film ‘This is It’ and ‘Push’. The channel plans to beef up its movie offering with its recent exclusive partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment through which it will get Indian television premiere rights for exclusively telecasting all the new movies released worldwide by Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The English movie genre, one can safely say has not only ended 2010 at a high, but is going to see greater heights in 2011.

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