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Sony Max 2 breaks even within a year of launch; plans to increase ad rates

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Sony Max 2 breaks even within a year of launch; plans to increase ad rates

Sony Max 2 has been one of the most successful channels to come out of the Multi Screen Media (MSM) stable considering that in one year since its inception it has managed to break even. This was possible after the channel started aggressively selling its inventory only as far six months back and managed to get 100 per cent of it sold within the short span of time. The channel is now planning to increase its ad rates.

It has even managed to beat competition in its segment of retro movies genre in the current BARC ratings. According to BARC data sourced from the channel – Week 21 to current Week 28 – Sony Max 2 stands on top with an average 65 GVMs and time spent viewing (TSV) at 39 minutes. It is followed by Zee Classic with 61 GVMs and a TSV of 37 minutes, Zee Action with an average of 28 GVMs and TSV of 26 minutes and B4U Movies at 25 GVMs and TSV of 23 minutes.

 “We are the No 1 channel in the retro movie genre. We would like to say that there is a different rung of channels which are of the smaller movie channels and retro movie channels, and we are clearly leading the race there,” said Neeraj Vyas, SVP and Business Head, Sony Max, Sony Max 2, Sony Mix.

Vyas further commented, “What really makes us happy is that we have managed to put life into a genre which was presumed to be dead. By doing so we have also woken up competition and helped them discover their own properties. If you see what the competition was at that point of time, and what it is today, channels have repackaged and started creating fresh promos and advertising campaigns. All of this did not exist. We have managed to get competition to respect their own libraries.

“I personally am very close to this brand of cinema of the 60s and 70s which had people like Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra and Vinod Khanna who created the fulcrum or base for what Hindi cinema is today,” he shared.

The other good feature of Sony Max 2, Vyas pointed out is that unlike other movie channels which are more male centric, Sony Max 2 is a movie channel that resonates with women. That, he said has been their bigger success as they have a huge following from women.

 The genre has also grown with the channel and digitization has played a big part in the success of the genre and is integral to the growth of this business. Vyas believes that come what may, everything else can wait but digitization should always progress. From the 45-50 GRP mark the channel has moved up to 100 GRPs today.

With regards to the recent decision of Hathway to make MSM channels an a-la-carte option, he opined, “In key markets like Mumbai for example, or Maharashtra, Hathway is strong. It will impact us.”

The brand categories that have been active on the channel include FMCG, automobile, ecommerce, etc. Vyas feels that the automobile sector will contribute a large part of spends during the second quarter as there are nine to ten launches slated before October. He further expects a huge spurt in spends coming from the telecom players as there will be a lot of activity around the launch of 4G services.    

What have also worked for the channel are the marketing campaigns and activations around it. Speaking about this, Vaishali Sharma, Marketing Head, Sony Max and Sony Max 2 said, “In the first phase we used a lot of radio and music channels, the strategy being that music of these films draws people very strongly. Radio is a very interactive medium so we tied up with radio channels to talk about trivia. Then we needed to get people to experience, participate and engage in the magic of these films. So we started with ‘Film, Family and Fun’ which we took across three states and did a lot of activation.” The activation covered a total of 56 towns, 2440 family auditions across these cities and 18,50,000 people were reached, across both activation and events. Sony Max 2 plans to continue with activations and experiential marketing and also start using digital in a big way going forward.    

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