Banking on HD’s small yet active subscriber base of 5.5–6 million, Sony Pictures Networks Television India (SPN) is all set to launch their new HD offering called MAX HD on December 25 across multiple DTH and leading digital cable platforms.
With the channel logo flaunting a new colour palette of gold, brown and glitter and a tagline ‘Jee Ke Dekho’; it has adopted a different brand proposition. “It’s all about experiential movie watching and we are here to pay tribute to cinematic moments. Such moments come with a strong emotional connect which we are banking upon. Also, with increasing digitization there will be fairly large growth in HD segment as well,” says Neeraj Vyas, SVP & Business Head, Sony Max, Sony Max-2 & Sony MIX.
When it comes to target audience, MAX HD is looking at the age group between 18 and 44 across metros and over a million plus towns. Vyas admits that content line up and creation of segments have taken up considerable time for the channel launch, “The attempt was to sell it differently. We want it to be more holistic and presentable. So, apart from the lineup of new popular movies there’s a newly created slot called ‘Friday Select’, which will have critically acclaimed movies like Paan Singh Tomar, Citylights and Shahid to cater to audiences who want to see good films. At the same time we will showcase films like Dhoom, Krish and PK as well that come with a huge mass appeal.”
Speaking about the differentiating factor of the new channel, Vyas adds, “We have remastered close to 120 films. Who would not want to see Anand, Chandni or Chupke Chupke remastered digitally with 5.1.1 Dolby? We have created a special saturday night slot called ‘MAX HD Rewind’ for such classics.”
For advertisers the MAX HD platform will offer a lot of variety in terms of its audience profile. “This is a premium channel which will hopefully cater to a large cross section of people. For me it’s probably the only real premium Hindi looking channel in this space and advertisers can cash on that,” he explains.
For the launch, major emphasis has been put on digital marketing with contests and trends across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. “We are looking primarily at metros and over a million towns where digital is the prime medium. To create a big visibility drive there is a print campaign too,” says Vaishali Sharma, Senior VP and Marketing Head, Sony Max.
Vyas is upbeat about the channel and already has ideas for its future programming mix. “We want to do a director’s-cut show where we will get a director to talk about his films and premier it on Max HD,” he shares. Short movies are also being considered. “HD cinemas are a platform for alternate cinemas as well. It needs to be pushed,” he signs off.