Times Network has rolled out another English channel to its bouquet of English entertainment cluster called Movies Now 2. It is positioned as English movie channel for young Indians offering edgy, fast-paced, new age premium content in SD and HD with a tagline ‘Hollywood’s wild child’.
The content from the network’s fourth English movie channel (after Movies Now, Romedy Now and MN+) promises to be stylised right from new identity and on-air look. It is currently available across leading cable and DTH platforms. The network has also inked an output deal with MGM with six to seven premiers a year.
Vivek Srivastava, Senior Vice President and Head, English Entertainment Cluster, Times Network says, “We are expecting Movies Now 2 to be the voice of the next generation and create a brand that stands for new age cinema which is slightly rebellious and opinionated. The movies showcased over here are ahead of their times. To give you an example, a classic comedy on Movies Now will be ‘Liar Liar’ whereas in Movies Now 2 it will be ‘Hangover’. That’s how it’s differentiated. Not that the movies have not been played earlier but as broadcasters we were sheepishly putting them at odd hours. This is a channel that’s focussed on the fact that it’s very well segmented.”
The channel is targeting millennial in the age-group of 20-25 who are ‘well-informed, high opinionated and free spirited.’ It’s starting off with four properties: ‘Moviegasm’ (9pm band), ‘Swag Nights’ (11pm band), ‘BAE Love’ (romantic movies at 7pm on Saturday), ‘2wisted’ (spoof movies), ‘Thug Life.’ Srivastava insists that the content is identifiable and for the masses. “We want to be mass. That’s why we have properties that everyone is aware of. We will have a premiere every month.” Premieres include ‘Sin City 2’ and ‘Hot Pursuit’ among others. Other young age Hollywood movies lined up are ‘Hangover III’, ‘Kick Ass 2’, ‘Bangkok Dangerous’, the ‘Oceans’ series, ‘R.I.P.D.’ and ‘21’ among others. Also he assures that in any given month none of the titles will be repeated across any platform.
On asked why the network decided to stick with the same name Srivastava feels that Movies Now is an iconic name and deserves an extension. “The mass attributes of the brand automatically comes on to it,” he answers.
With a spurt of new English movie channels coming up, Srivastava is upbeat about the English category as a whole. “We have 40 odd English channels as compared to 400 Hindi and regional channels. Time spent on English is between 45 minutes and an hour as compared to any other regional content which is two and a half hour plus. According to me time spent is low because of the paucity of content. That’s why the launch of every new channel adds to the viewership. In the next two years English as a category will be exploding going by the recent social media consumption (which happens primarily in English), increasing Hollywood movies consumption, and the growing number of English medium schools in the past. But it will explode only if content is there to utilise the opportunity. Revenue wise also the category has got takers. The price tags on a 10-second spot can be much higher. I think we are little under monetised as far as platforms. But we are getting there. Also I feel advertisers will spend more on this genre specifically of the space that we are getting in. A lot of our products are digital,” he shares his viewpoint.
This positivity also comes from the fact that English movie and entertainment channels have estimated to earn advertising revenue of around Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion) in 2015, registering a growth rate of 15–20 per cent over the earlier year.